Plastics dominate bay clean-up

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
Plastic trash with bite marks found at Ningaloo.
Camera IconPlastic trash with bite marks found at Ningaloo. Credit: Pic: Tom Balks

Nearly 150kg of rubbish was removed at a beach clean-up along the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo coast last month.

The clean-up was held over four days at Janes Bay in the Ningaloo Marine Park, with nine volunteers from Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaign taking part.

During the clean-up, 149kg of rubbish and 33,341 pieces of trash were collected.

The volunteers also discovered a dead green turtle missing both of its front flippers with rope fragments embedded around remaining tissue, while another turtle was displaying signs of float syndrome meaning it had ingested plastic and was unable to dive for food.

A survey of 100 pieces of plastic film picked up found 91 per cent had bite marks from fish or turtles.

Most of the rubbish found was plastic film, hard plastics, plastic food packaging and rope scraps, with almost all items being ocean plastic swept in from the sea and a large majority showing South-East Asian branding.

Sea Shepherd national marine debris campaigner Marina Hansen said the clean-up was to find out what kind of debris was there and to give immediate relief to marine life.

Data from the clean-up is shared with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the CSIRO.

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