Marine debris

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This week at Macquarie Island: 30 September 2011

Each month the park rangers, assisted by volunteers from the station, conduct a marine debris survey at Bauer Bay on the west coast. This involves four people systematically walking a line search pattern across the Bauer Bay beach and picking up every piece of man-made debris that they find. 

It is amazing how much 'rubbish' can end up on a beach in the southern ocean where the nearest westward landmass is South America!  We picked up 999 pieces of debris, comprising:

  •   662 twine
  •   306 little pieces of hard plastic
  •   10 pieces of rope
  •   4 small pieces of rubber
  •   3 pieces of glass
  •   2 small pieces metal
  •   2 pieces of fishing bait equipment.

We may have found a few more pieces but we weren't able to search the parts of the beach occupied by the elephant seal harems.

It wasn't all hard work, and we enjoyed a relaxed evening in the hut afterwards. Eve made a delicious pasta bake dinner, and Paul shared a bottle of wine with all his hard working volunteers.

Bauer Bay beach - the search area
Bauer Bay beach - the search area
(Photo: Trish M.)
Eve and Paul collecting debris
Eve and Paul collecting debris - but keeping a watch on the…
(Photo: Trish M.)
We didn't check under these guys.
We didn't check under these guys.
(Photo: Trish M.)
Trevor, Eve and Paul
Trevor, Eve and Paul competing to get the most debris!
(Photo: Trish M.)
Sorting out the debris
Paul, Eve and Trevor sorting out the debris
(Photo: Trish M.)
Eve's collection of little pieces of hard plastic
Eve's collection of little pieces of hard plastic
(Photo: Trish M.)
The haul for the day
The haul for the day
(Photo: Trish M.)
First Royal penguin sighted at Bauer Bay
First Royal penguin sighted at Bauer Bay
(Photo: Eve M.)
and a couple of Kings.
and a couple of Kings.
(Photo: Eve M.)
Eve's fabulous pasta bake!
And to top off a great day, Eve's fabulous pasta bake!
(Photo: Eve M.)
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This page was last modified on 30 September 2011.