Category

Boating and fishing

Keep fishing rubbish onboard

By | Boating and fishing, Marine debris | No Comments
Anne Whalley

Litter Ambassador Anne Whalley reckons the initiative to install tangler bins at boat ramps and jetties is a cheap and effective way to keep tangled fishing line out of harm’s way. These tangler bins are one way to Bin It – You know it’s right!

Commercial and recreational fishers see the impact of litter every time they are out on the water. From ghost nets to plastic bags, Anne Whalley has seen the damage caused to the marine environment as a result of rubbish being thrown overboard or entering the ocean through stormwater drains.

“Entanglement and unnecessary death of marine life is often seen as a result of litter that has not been disposed of properly,” said Litter Ambassador, Mrs Whalley. “I have been involved in the seafood industry for 50 years and litter is certainly becoming increasingly obvious at sea. Once litter enters the ocean it just keeps moving and is very difficult to get rid of.”

Mrs Whalley said many regulations have been introduced to reduce the impact of commercial operations. “Commercial vessels are required to have toilets on board, use special booms for refuelling, use non-toxic antifouling paints, carry absorption pads on board to clean oil spills and to keep rubbish on-board until returning to port,” she said. “All of these things help reinforce the importance of disposing of rubbish properly.” Read More

Keep fishing line off the reef

By | Boating and fishing, Marine debris | 2 Comments
Litter Ambassador and Reef Check community engagement manager Jodi Salmond (right) is concerned about the amount of fishing tackle being left behind on our reefs. She is supporting the ‘Bin It — You know it’s right!’ campaign to put rubbish in its place. Pictured here with Reef Check Australia director of programs and partnerships, Jennifer Loder and just a sample of the fishing debris removed at a regular clean up location. Photo: Reef Check Australia

Litter Ambassador and Reef Check community engagement manager Jodi Salmond (left) is concerned about the amount of fishing tackle being left behind on our reefs. She is supporting the ‘Bin It — You know it’s right!’ campaign to put rubbish in its place. Pictured here with Reef Check Australia director of programs and partnerships, Jennifer Loder and just a sample of the fishing debris removed at a regular clean up location. Photo: Reef Check Australia

Wide Bay and the Fraser Coast regions are endowed with majestic whales and turtles, stunning beaches and a beautiful array of marine birds, all of which are threatened by discarded plastics and fishing line.

Below the water line, Litter Ambassador and Reef Check community engagement manager Jodi Salmond encounters the damaging effects of marine debris caught on the reef. She said there are at least 77 marine species in Australian waters that are directly impacted by litter in the ocean.

“Marine debris can be ingested, or animals and birds can become entangled, leading directly to their death or the loss of circulation to limbs resulting in amputation,” said Ms Salmond. “It is unacceptable that a 70 or 100-year-old turtle could survive a generation in the open ocean only to have its life ended by a plastic bag it mistakes for a jellyfish.”

“Our volunteers see the amount of debris that ends up on our beaches and in our oceans through community clean ups, and reef health surveys, including tiny bits of broken up plastics. It has been documented that small pieces of plastic are being fed to chicks of a variety of bird species and we know that chemicals leached from plastics and other sources are found in the flesh of fish and inside plankton. This bio-accumulation of chemicals and micro-plastics in the food chain will pose threats to animals and humans long into the future and needs to stop.”

The reefs in our region provide habitat for many marine creatures and are a drawcard for fishers, divers and tourists. Popular fishing spots often carry the greatest burden of fishing line and tackle from the ‘ones that got away’ or from being snagged on the reef itself. Ms Salmond is encouraging fishers to do what they can to reduce the amount of line left underwater.

“It is generally not safe to recover line and tackle once the line has snapped, but fishers can reel in as much line as possible when they realise the line is caught,” she said. “There are biodegradable line options available now and although more expensive than ordinary line is safer for the environment and worthy of consideration.”

Likewise, when fishing off the beach or rocks try to recover as much tackle as possible and never litter or bury bait bags. The tangler bins located at boat ramps throughout the region are a great initiative and make it easy to dispose of tangled line at the end of a fishing trip.

Ms Salmond said items such as plastic straws, coffee cups and other drink containers left behind by beach goers continue to degrade our beaches. She suggests we all take up the challenge to choose not to take a straw when we buy a drink and to choose glass bottles or aluminium cans instead of plastic bottle.

“An even better choice is the take your own coffee cup or drink bottle,” she said. “Many people think that take-away coffee cups are biodegradable but this isn’t the case.”

If you see household, garden or industrial waste being dumped in the bush, or rubbish being dropped or thrown from a vehicle or boat, you can report the incident to Fraser Coast Regional Council.

The Taking the Lead on Litter! Project is supported by the Queensland Government’s Litter and Illegal Dumping Community and Industry Partnerships Program.

For more information about the BMRG’s Taking the Lead on Litter project, please contact Jacinta Jowett, Project Coordinator on (07) 4181 2999.

Litter looks out of place in the mangroves

By | Boating and fishing, Green waste, Roadside Litter | No Comments
Litter Ambassador Lindsay Titmarsh wants to see all our waterways, beaches and mangrove flats litter-free. He is supporting the ‘Bin It — You know it’s right!’ campaign, encouraging everyone on the Fraser Coast to make use of the recycling and waste management facilities provided in the region and to keep litter in its place.

Litter Ambassador Lindsay Titmarsh wants to see all our waterways, beaches and mangrove flats litter-free. He is supporting the ‘Bin It — You know it’s right!’ campaign, encouraging everyone on the Fraser Coast to make use of the recycling and waste management facilities provided in the region and to keep litter in its place.

Next to ancient middens along the bank of the Mary River lie a plastic tray, glass bottle and a plastic lid, all looking very out of place.

“Rubbish like this just doesn’t belong in our rivers,” said Litter Ambassador Lindsay Titmarsh. “There is no excuse and we all have a responsibility to make sure empty containers like these don’t ever get let loose in the environment.”

Mr Titmarsh’s property, ‘Tandora’, is nestled between the Susan and Mary Rivers, within sight of River Heads. He has come to know the rivers, mangroves and their native inhabitants well in the 60 plus years he has called this property ‘home’.

“What really bothers me is that these plastic items never actually decompose,” he said. “We know that they just disintegrate into smaller and smaller pieces but they become a permanent part of the environment.”

Mr Titmarsh’s natural curiosity has led him accumulate extensive knowledge of mangrove ecosystems, which he enjoys sharing with locals, and tourists from around the world. He said it is upsetting for nature-loving visitors to see litter washed up on the river’s edge in an otherwise pristine environment full of natural wonders.

“We pick up other people’s rubbish all the time because it literally washes up in our backyard,” he said. “I can’t imagine people think about that when they throw rubbish out a car window or drop bait bags out of a boat. I am certain people wouldn’t like it if I dropped rubbish back in their yard.”

Protecting the environment also means green waste such as lawn clippings, weeds, unwanted garden plants and prunings are kept out of bushland. A valuable resource when composted or mulched, green waste has no place in the bush where it becomes a source of weed infestations and smothers native plants.

On the Fraser Coast, rate payers pay approximately $150,000 per year to collect around three semi-trailer loads of litter and illegally dumped rubbish across the region – a substantial and unnecessary cost.

If you see household, garden or industrial waste being dumped in the bush, or rubbish being dropped or thrown from a vehicle or boat, you can report the incident to Fraser Coast Regional Council.

The Taking the Lead on Litter! Project is supported by the Queensland Government’s Litter and Illegal Dumping Community and Industry Partnerships Program.

For more information about the BMRG’s Taking the Lead on Litter project, please contact Jacinta Jowett, Project Coordinator on (07) 4181 2999.

Enjoy the rivers, litter free

By | Boating and fishing | No Comments
Paddling along the beautiful Burrum River in a kayak is one of life’s many pleasures for Litter Ambassador Dr Tim Thornton, which is why he is disappointed whenever he sees litter accumulating along the river bank or in the mangroves. “There are some great camping sites along the Burrum River and it is a shame to see litter scattered around by people who have come to enjoy the river,” he said. “It doesn’t take much effort to carry out whatever you have carried in.” Getting out of town and onto the region’s rivers and creeks these school holidays is a wonderful way to relax and get away from your every-day world. Seeing rubbish floating in the water, caught up in the mangroves or along the banks is the last thing people want to see while enjoying the natural environment. It makes no sense to go to a beautiful place with abundant wildlife and to leave litter behind. “Keep rubbish secure while you are on the water and make sure that nothing is left loose to blow away or fall into the water,” said Tim. “If you are camping, keep in mind that many sites do not have rubbish bins provided so be prepared to keep rubbish in secure containers that animals can not scratch open or drag away.” Having rubbish bins at remote locations is costly to manage and it is difficult to stop wildlife and vermin from raiding bins and spreading rubbish. Taking all rubbish away and disposing of it at home or in bins provided at the nearest town is the best solution. “Thinking about ways to reduce the amount of rubbish generated on a day trip or while camping will reduce the hassle and make the outing more enjoyable for everyone,” he said. “Take re-usable containers for food and drinks and avoid small packages that generate lots of empty wrappers and bottles. Burying food scraps, fish frames or bait bags is not an acceptable disposal option. Bin it – you know it’s right!” “River banks have often been used to dump large items such as white goods and car bodies,” he said. “Fortunately this practice seems to be less now that in years past, which is a good thing. These items are unsightly, contaminate the environment and are very difficult for councils or volunteer groups to remove.” Dropping litter such as wrappers, cigarette butts, bottles and cans is illegal and penalties of over $240 apply for individual infringements. Penalties increase according to the volume and type of items discarded illegally. If you see household, garden or industrial waste being dumped in the bush, or rubbish being dropped or thrown from a vehicle or boat, you can report the incident to Fraser Coast Regional Council. The Taking the Lead on Litter! Project is supported by the Queensland Government's Litter and Illegal Dumping Community and Industry Partnerships Program. For more information about the BMRG’s Taking the Lead on Litter project, please contact Jacinta Jowett, Project Coordinator on (07) 4181 2999. Photo caption: Litter Ambassador Tim Thornton is supporting the ‘Bin It — You know it’s right!’ campaign to reduce the impact of litter in the Fraser Coast region’s bushland and river environments. He said it’s important that people enjoying the great outdoors are prepared to take care of their own rubbish and not assume there will be bins at recreational locations such as rivers and parks.

Litter Ambassador Tim Thornton is supporting the ‘Bin It — You know it’s right!’ campaign to reduce the impact of litter in the Fraser Coast region’s bushland and river environments. He said it’s important that people enjoying the great outdoors are prepared to take care of their own rubbish and not assume there will be bins at recreational locations such as rivers and parks.

Paddling along the beautiful Burrum River in a kayak is one of life’s many pleasures for Litter Ambassador Dr Tim Thornton, which is why he is disappointed whenever he sees litter accumulating along the river bank or in the mangroves.

“There are some great camping sites along the Burrum River and it is a shame to see litter scattered around by people who have come to enjoy the river,” he said. “It doesn’t take much effort to carry out whatever you have carried in.”

Getting out of town and onto the region’s rivers and creeks these school holidays is a wonderful way to relax and get away from your every-day world. Seeing rubbish floating in the water, caught up in the mangroves or along the banks is the last thing people want to see while enjoying the natural environment. It makes no sense to go to a beautiful place with abundant wildlife and to leave litter behind. Read More