It saddens me to see what we are doing to our ocean. As Australians we are surrounded by some of the most pristine beaches and oceans in the world. But for how long? With cities expanding and country towns shrinking, the impact on our coastline has never be so under treat just from pollution plastics and micro plastics.
If you jump online and search plastic oceans you will see what happens to 8 million tons of plastic each year, it ends up in our oceans killing our sea life. 100,000 of sea life die from plastic each year and these are the ones that are found. Approximately 1 million sea birds also die because of plastic. Lets not even mention the micro plastics where we are basically poisoning ourselves. I could go on with hundreds more disturbing facts but you can do that yourself by just simply googling ‘plastic oceans’.
Now as Australians this should concern us all as the ocean is such a big part of all of our lives from recreational fishing, to going to the beach to even eating seafood. I’m not going to give you the answers on how we can make a change, as I hope you can figure that out for yourselves. I do urge you however to start a conversation about this issue to raise more awareness. From sitting down and teaching your kids an important concept or even with your family and friends – every little bit can help.
Want to make a difference?
The Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) is one of Australia’s 56 regional NRM organisation which work to accomplish nation-wide management, restoration and protection of Australia’s natural environment by addressing national environmental priorities at the regional level.
NACC assists with regular beach clean-ups and encourages community groups to collect data on rubbish. The information collected helps identify the sources of environmental contamination which assists with the development of innovations to reduce future pollution. NACC can supply clean-up equipment such as; rubbish bags, gloves as well as training of sorting and recording data.
To do my part in helping clean up the beaches and oceans, I attended the annual WA Beach clean up day in Geraldton. As a passionate fisherman and lover of our oceans and its marine life I felt it was important to do my bit for its future. I also wanted to take this chance to teach my kids the importance of keeping our planet clean and how their actions can positively affect their future.
I took my daughter to the annual WA beach clean up. We helped clean up our local rock wal which is a favourite fishing spot for local anglers. As we picked up rubbish my daughter shot out 101 questions about cleaning up and pollution. “Why don’t people put their rubbish in the bin?” “Why are we picking up rubbish?” so on and so forth. I took this time to educate and explain to her the importance of putting your rubbish away and the dangers of rubbish and plastic in our oceans. I stressed to her the importance of cleaning up rubbish even if it mightn’t be yours because if we don’t clean it up you don’t know how many innocent animals and sea life it could kill.
Two hours of picking up rubbish and we managed to fill up our bags easily and we hadn’t even cleaned half of the break wall. During the clean up it was shocking to me to see how much rubbish is lying around from McDonalds and KFC food packaging to cigarette butts and unwanted fishing line. I couldn’t believe how lazy and complacent people are about their rubbish.
Next time you take your family to the beach or even for a walk to the park. Be mindful of how you dispose of your rubbish and how your actions can impact the environment. Even think of this as you are throwing out rubbish and waste at home! We all have a responsibility to make sure our children enjoy what our world has to offer before it’s too late!