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MACQUARIE HARBOUR SHORELINE CLEAN-UP OUTCOMES AND DISCUSSION

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MACQUARIE HARBOUR SHORELINE CLEAN-UP KEY POINTS About the project Community interest in accumulated marine debris in Macquarie Harbour led to the formation of the Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up Steering Committee with representatives from the three aquaculture companies, local tourism operators, West Coast Council, community groups and State Government. Annual clean-ups were organised by the Steering Committee and Cradle Coast Authority NRM in 2017 (see a video) and 2018 (hear a radio segment), with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Outcomes summary Over two years, the project has removed more than 11 tonnes of rubbish from Macquarie Harbour and surrounds. This is equivalent to ~120 cubic metres, and more than 60,000 individual pieces. Approximately 80% of the debris is made of plastic. This debris had the potential to entangle, or be ingested by, the fish, mammals and birds that inhabit the Harbour and ecosystems beyond. Removing rubbish also contributes to protecting the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area’s undisturbed wildness – an intangible (and aesthetic) quality which is the foundation of its natural, social and economic value. The clean-up project has increased awareness of the issue in the Harbour community, the Cradle Coast region, and Tasmania more broadly; awareness-raising is a step towards reducing marine pollution at its source. Analysis of the clean-up data tells a story about the debris accumulation hot-spots, sources, and potential mitigation options. This project has engaged all the major Harbour stakeholders and showcases the effectiveness of collaboration: In 2017, 80 participants contributed 612 person-hours. In 2018, there were 168 volunteers and staff, contributing approximately 860 person-hours.

Recommendations As a result of the project, the aquaculture companies have committed to more regular independent clean-ups, and they are developing a Code of Practice to reduce debris caused by their activities. This is an essential strategy for the Harbour’s future health. However, reducing the other types of rubbish in the Harbour will require further actions; continued clean-up effort, while important, is only one part of the puzzle. Easy changes such as rubbish and recycling bin installations could be complemented by expanded education programs such as DPIPWE’s Discovery Rangers, school curriculum additions, and communication products aimed at adults. Changes to the way society manages waste should be instigated where possible. The work of the Cradle Coast Waste Management Group to encourage a local “circular economy” is one positive action. Industry-led initiatives to reduce, re-use and recycle are gaining momentum in other states. Local government strategies to introduce landfill levies, drink container deposit schemes, or “take-away” plastic mitigation measures could be the types of systemic changes that make a lasting difference to our coastal and marine ecosystems.

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Figure 1. Infographic used to communicate 2017 Clean-up results. See a video about the clean-up here.

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Figure 2. Infographic about the 2018 clean-up. Hear about the clean-up in an ABC radio segment here.

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MACQUARIE HARBOUR SHORELINE CLEAN-UP OUTCOMES AND DISCUSSION Background This report summarises the results of the Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up Project, which over two annual events, has removed more than 11 tonnes of garbage from the shores of the Harbour and nearby beaches. Macquarie Harbour is a unique and fascinating system. It is six times the size of Sydney Harbour, with a narrow, shallow entrance to the sea, a deep central basin, and two big freshwater inflows – the King River and the Gordon. Because of this geomorphology, there is less marine influence than in most estuaries. This reduces water flushing and causes salinity stratification.

ABOUT THE PROJECT The project was initiated in 2017 by Cradle Coast Authority NRM and coordinated by a Steering Committee set up to facilitate clean-up activities. Funding was obtained from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. In April 2017, and in April 2018, the clean-up events were held with excellent community and industry participation.

The southern third of the Harbour is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which includes the ruins of a penal colony on Sarah Island, as well as access via the spectacular Gordon River to dense temperate rainforest from which loggers once extracted valuable Huon Pine. Elsewhere in the Harbour, there are ~10 active aquaculture leases operated by three companies growing Atlantic Salmon. The township of Strahan has a population of ~700 people, but the region has a relatively high (and growing) tourist visitation rate. The West Coast region is well known for its active and historic mine sites, one of which, the decommissioned Mt Lyell copper mine, still exerts an influence on the Harbour, in the form of mine tailings in the King River and its delta. Although the Harbour waters have naturally low levels of biodiversity, there are several EPBClisted threatened, marine and migratory species that live in or visit the area. In particular, there is a Little Penguin colony on Bonnet Island, Short-tailed Shearwater colonies at Cape Sorell and Ocean Beach, and regular sightings of Hooded Plovers on Ocean Beach during the breeding season. Sea-birds are some of the species most impacted by plastic pollution. Underwater, Common Dolphins are residents of the Harbour, and several whale species including vulnerable Humpbacks are seen nearby. Most cetaceans are at risk from entanglements in rubbish and marine debris. More generally, fish (including edible species), eat plastics, with unknown impacts on human health. Removing debris from the Harbour and marine environment aims to reduce the threats of ingestion and entanglement that coastal and marine species face. An additional benefit is improved public amenity for West Coast residents and visitors. Community interest in the rubbish problem in Macquarie Harbour led to the formation of the Shoreline Clean-up Steering Committee with representatives from local tourism operators, the three aquaculture companies, West Coast Council, community groups and State Government.

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2017 Results The Steering Committee took six months to plan the clean-up. Using eight boats and land crews, more than 80 volunteers and staff removed 55 cubic metres (6 tonnes) of marine debris from 15 locations along 80 kilometres covering more than 270 hectares of shorelines. The clean-up event was a collaborative effort and supported financially by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, as well as Cradle Coast NRM, Huon Aquaculture, Petuna Aquaculture, Strahan Beach Tourist Park, Tassal and West Coast Council. It could not have been achieved without the support of the aquaculture farm staff, the Parks and Wildlife Service and Wildcare volunteers, Conservation Volunteers Australia, West Coast Yacht Charters, Active Strahan, Gordon River Cruises, Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council, Strahan Primary School Parents and Friends and the community.

Figure 3. Volunteers cleaning up the King River delta in 2017. (Photo: A. Wind).

Recreational and dumped rubbish tally: • • • •

1,724 plastic bottles 678 cans 690 glass bottles 32 pieces of dumped rubbish – e.g. furniture, TV, camping chairs, picnic tables, balls, bikes

• • • •

33 drums and crates (plastic and metal) 5 car parts 4 boat engine parts 1 recreational gillnet 30 tyres

19,900 small plastic pieces (<3cm)

• • •

7 large fish pen pieces 104 packing straps 566 metres of polypipe

Unknown source: •

4,186 pieces of soft and hard plastic

The debris from commercial operations included: • •

5,290 pieces of rope (recycled) 1466 pieces of polystyrene foam including buoys

More results can be found in Table 4 in the Data section of this report (Page 22).

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The Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up Steering Committee held a workshop in July 2017 on future actions that organisations can take to reduce marine debris entering Macquarie Harbour and Strahan waterways. The actions were: • • • •

• •

Provide bins at Meredith Street boat ramp Relocate a recycling skip to a more accessible place Implement education programs Aquaculture farms to clean-up remaining stretch of Ocean Beach; extend Adopt-AShoreline areas to include World Heritage Area; implement management practice change to avoid working pipes on water, review infrastructure used, check gear after storms, undertake more frequent clean-ups of adopted shorelines, quick response to reports of debris, develop improved Code of Practice Work on hotline number and plan for reporting debris Develop gridline map to display at boat-ramp to assist with reporting location of debris

Figure 4. Materials collected at the Meredith St. boat ramp area in 2017. (Photo: A. Wind).

2018 Results The second major clean-up at Macquarie Harbour had double the participation rate, and accessed double the number of sites, compared with 2017. There were 168 volunteers and Harbour staff participating, from 13 organisations. New organisations that joined the clean-up efforts were Strahan Primary School students and teachers, King River Rafting, DPIPWE Marine Farming Branch and the clean-up was supported by Strahan Village, Gordon River Cruises and World Heritage Cruises. Over 5 days, using 10 boats and various vehicles, 36 locations were cleaned – a total distance of approximately 112 km with an area of 97 ha.

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As well as 410 bags, 491 other bulky pieces of rubbish were collected, including plastic tubs, fire extinguishers, pieces of wood, jerry cans, bits of carpet, 102 polystyrene tube pieces, and even a fridge. The rubbish sent to landfill filled three 15 cubic metre skip bins. There was also 855 metres of polypipe and several large pieces of fish pen infrastructure, 1096 kilograms of rope, and 56 car or truck tyres. These were all recycled. From within the bags, 5170 drink containers (1412 aluminium cans, 2484 plastic bottles and 1274 glass bottles) were salvaged for recycling – that’s 5 cubic metres of bottles and cans. At the sorting shed, all the bags were counted and weighed, with all bulky un-bagged pieces recorded. Two bags from each site (85 bags) were sorted completely, and all rubbish separated into 80 categories (e.g. hard plastic, soft industrial plastic, soft domestic plastic, aerosol bottles, pieces of fabric, pens, packing straps, etc; see Table 3 on page 21 for more information). From the number of pieces in these representative samples, site totals could be calculated. By splitting the categories into Commercial, Domestic/Recreational and Unknown sources, we could ascertain whether certain sites have particular rubbish signatures. In addition to the sorting of the representative sample bags, all the rope was separated, and every bottle and can was counted and sent for recycling (if in suitable condition). Rubbish with a Commercial source: • • •

• •

855 m of polypipe 1096 kg of rope 19% of the rest of the rubbish pieces (calculation would be different by mass or volume) That is ~5 700 pieces of rubbish Commercial rubbish includes: Packing straps, pipe swarf (shavings), polystyrene, “industrial” soft plastic, rope, large fish bin lids, large plastic drums, polypipe, nets, large buoys. Commercial sources could include commercial fishing and aquaculture operations.

Unknown source (could be either Commercial or Domestic): • •

40%, or ~12 300 pieces of rubbish Figure 5. Rope collected in 2018. (Photo: I. Flett) Includes hats, gloves, pieces of rubber, fire extinguishers, buckets, tubs, and all hard plastic pieces of unknown origin, including microplastics.

Rubbish with a Domestic or Recreational source: • • •

41% of the rest of the pieces of rubbish (excluding polypipe and rope) That is ~12 500 pieces of rubbish This rubbish includes all the plastic and glass bottles, and the aluminum cans, “domestic” soft plastic like food wrappers, and cigarette butts (note that commercial users of the Harbour could be contributing some of this rubbish too). Also, fabric, shoes/thongs, plant pots, pens, balls, furniture, whitegoods.

More results can be found in Table 2 in the Data section of this report (Page 20).

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Outcomes Rubbish removed Over two years the project has removed more than 11 tonnes of debris from Macquarie Harbour and surrounds. This is equivalent to around 120 cubic metres, and more than 60,000 individual pieces. About 80% of the rubbish is made of plastic.

Positive Impact This debris had the potential to harm or kill the fish, mammals and birds that inhabit the Harbour. If it had made its way outside the Harbour, it could have caused even greater harm. By removing rubbish, this project has reduced risks of entanglement and ingestion that the region’s fauna face. Strahan and Macquarie Harbour are a tourist drawcard, with over 140,000 visitors to Strahan in 2017, which was 11% of Tasmania’s total visitors. The experience that visitors have, and resultingly, the value of the tourist industry, has been shown to be impacted by plastic pollution. Tasmania’s “clean, green” brand is of immense importance to marketing the visitor’s experience here, and rubbish clean-ups contribute to maintaining the State’s pristine wild image.

Figure 6. Debris on a beach in the World Heritage Area. (Photo: S. Simco).

At the southern end of Macquarie Harbour is the mouth of the Gordon River, and two parts of Tasmania’s famed Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) – the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, and Macquarie Harbour Historic Site. The Tasmanian Government’s Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan states that the wilderness values of the TWWHA, which contributed to its World Heritage listing, are to do with its tangible remoteness, pristineness and undisturbed status.

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Wilderness also relates to intangible intrinsic values such as “large remote areas that have little or no facilities, management presence or evidence of modern society and are largely free from disturbance and mechanical access” and the comfort that many people take “from the existence of such places even if they never experience them first hand.” The Australian Government has obligations under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places, including the TWWHA. One of the key principles of World Heritage management is to “… protect, conserve, present, transmit to future generations … the World Heritage values of the property”.

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC VALUES “Aesthetic qualities are key parts of the TWWHA’s social value – the beauty and grandeur of its landmarks; the wildness of its places and landscapes; and the impressive beauty and power of its plants and animals. Many people gain satisfaction simply from knowing that such beauty exists.” Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) Management Plan.

This project, partly funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, contributes to protecting the TWWHA’s undisturbed wildness – the foundation of its natural, social and economic value.

Improved understanding While reducing the potential harmful impacts of Macquarie Harbour’s debris on the wildlife, wilderness and visitor economy, the Clean-up Project has also increased awareness of the issue in the Harbour community, the Cradle Coast region, and Tasmania more broadly; coastal clean-ups are only one possible marine debris threat-mitigating activity and they are low-priority in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.

Figure 7. Aquaculture staff working together to help sort debris collected during the 2018 clean-up. (Photo: G. Claxton).

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However, by analysing the rubbish collected, we are able to learn about its sources and start to work towards long-term preventative strategies. Data are also added to the National Marine Debris Database which contributes to scientific understanding of the types, amounts and sources of debris. Additionally, participants in coastal clean-ups gain a greater understanding of the extent of the marine debris problem and are more likely to work to reduce marine debris at its source. At a local scale, the Macquarie Harbour project has succeeded in education and awareness-raising within the Strahan community, including amongst aquaculture company staff who work on the Harbour every day.

Combined effort The Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up Steering Committee has been remarkably successful in obtaining buy-in from all the major Harbour stakeholders, and in demonstrating the effectiveness of collaboration. In 2017, 80 participants contributed 612 person-hours. In 2018, there was increased stakeholder input, with 168 volunteers and staff contributing approximately 860 person-hours.

The organisations who have participated and, in many cases, contributed substantial amounts of staff or volunteer time are Active Strahan, Conservation Volunteers Australia, DPIPWE Marine Farming Branch, Huon Aquaculture, King River Rafting, Petuna Aquaculture, Strahan Primary School, Strahan P.S. Parents and Friends, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife, the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council, Tassal, West Coast Wilderness Railway, West Coast Yacht Charters, Wildcare, and the Cradle Coast Authority NRM team. Financial contributions or sponsorship came from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, Gordon River Cruises, Huon Aquaculture, Petuna, RACT Strahan Village, Strahan Beach Tourist Park, Tassal, TyreCycle, West Coast Council, and World Heritage Cruises.

By working together and publicising the results of the clean-ups, the Steering Committee has driven the following outcomes: •

• •

The inclusion of Macquarie Harbour in the “hotline” system which allows members of the public to report sightings of debris by calling a dedicated number – 1300 706 973. Rubbish is then picked up by Harbour staff as soon as possible. The “adopt-a-shoreline” program has been extended to include the whole Harbour shoreline from King Point around to Cosy Corner, which means the three aquaculture companies have a shared responsibility to keep the Harbour clean. A commitment by the aquaculture companies to conduct more regular clean-ups of their adopted shorelines, at least on a quarterly basis, but also after storm events. The aquaculture companies, in collaboration with DPIPWE’s Marine Farming Branch, are developing a joint Code of Practice relating to debris. This will involve actions such as labelling all pen infrastructure and ropes, changing known waste-generating practices such as shaping polypipe on the water, and improving education within staff. A commitment by the Macquarie Harbour community to keep holding annual cleanups engaging the residents of Strahan.

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Figure 10. 8. Active Strahan and CVA volunteers at the Meredith St. boat ramp. (Photo: A. Wind).

Figure 8. 9. Rubbish collected at the King River delta on a Tassal truck. (Photo: A. Wind).

Figure 10. 9. Wildcare volunteers at the King River delta. (Photo: A. Wind).

Figure 11. Volunteers at the sorting shed after finishing work.

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Answering questions Over the course of the project, stakeholders have asked questions about the types, locations and sources of debris. Where are the “hot-spots” for debris accumulation Where does the rubbish come from Why is there so much rope and polypipe What is the debris made of Does rubbish come from outside the Harbour or leave the Harbour How did 2018 compare with 2017 What should be done about this problem in the long-term

Hot-spots To find the debris hot-spots, and determine rubbish sources, the 2018 data have been studied in detail. The Harbour has been divided into seven areas. The rubbish in each area has different characteristics.

DEBRIS % of total (32 900 pieces) of rubbish

BOTTLES & CANS % of total (5170) bottles & cans

ROPE % of total (1096 kg) rope

Figure 12. Proportions of debris, rope and drink containers at each of the areas described below.

1 Ocean Beach – there is a strong “marine” influence here – many pieces of rope, microplastics, cigarette butts and thongs – things that could have floated from far away.

2 South-west of Strahan on the Harbour side. This area has several campsites and had an astonishingly large number of bottles and cans. There is a lot of domestic rubbish at the campsites, but Smith’s Bay, near the Aquaculture Hub, is a hotspot for all debris.

3 Strahan and surrounds. Near the town, there was a very disappointing amount of litter and household rubbish. The area was cleaned in 2017 but even more rubbish was collected in 2018.

4 The King River and its delta is a major accumulation point. The greatest amount of rubbish was collected here, and the highest number of bottles and cans.

5 The east coast of the Harbour had by far the most rope, and the second largest amount of rubbish overall.

6 The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area sites had lower amounts of rubbish, probably because there has been a focus on cleaning this area by the aquaculture companies. A lot of rope (the third highest amount) still washes into this area.

7 The west coast of the Harbour had the third highest amount of rubbish and the second highest amount of rope.

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Goat Beach (1) King River North (1) King River Rafting (1) King River Island (1) King River South (1) King Point (2) Pine Cove (1) Connelly's Pt to Pine Cove (3) Connelly's Point (2) Sophia Pt to Coal Head (3) Coal Head (2) Beach North of Philip's Is. (1) North of Braddon (2) Gould Pt (1) Farm Cove (1) Picnic Pt (1) Kelly Basin (1) Sarah Island (1) Bryan's Bay (1) Double Cove to Table Head (3) Betsys Bay (1) Cosy Corner (1)

Dead Horse Pt (1)

Street Rubbish (1) Regatta Pt (3)

Piners Punt to Regatta Pt (1)

Piners Punt (1)

Meredith Boat Ramp (1) West Strahan Beach (3)

Smiths Cove (1)

Cat Island (1)

Swan Basin (1) Neck Island (1)

Ocean Beach South (1)

Ocean Beach North (1)

1. Ocean Beach

2. South-west of Strahan

3. Strahan and surrounds

4. King River and delta

5. East coast of Harbour

6. TWWHA

7. West coast of Harbour

Figure 13. Map of debris hot-spots, with the size of the markers representing kilograms of bagged rubbish per hectare of area cleaned.

18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

Figure 14. The percentage of rope that was found at each clean-up site â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1096 kg in total. Number of clean-up groups/visits at each site in brackets. Colours refer to seven areas as above.

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Sources Tracing the sources of the debris in Macquarie Harbour is a complicated matter. For example, if a plastic bottle falls over the side of a commercial fishing boat, this rubbish has a domestic source (a person littering) but is also related to commercial activities. Another grey area is hard plastic that has broken down into fragments – plant pots, aerosol lids, engine oil bottles and plastic forks could all end up as unrecognisable colourful pieces. All materials in the representative sample bags were counted, and attributed to either Commercial, Domestic/Recreational or Unknown (which could be either) origin. In 2018, rubbish with a Commercial source made up 19% of the counted rubbish. This included packing straps, pipe swarf (shavings), polystyrene, “industrial” soft plastic, rope, large fish bin lids, large plastic drums, polypipe, nets, and large buoys, plus 855 m of polypipe and 1096 kgs of rope.

Figure 15. It is often difficult to attribute plastic to a particular source. (Photo: I. Flett).

Rubbish with a Domestic or Recreational source made up 41% of the counted rubbish pieces (excluding polypipe and rope). This category included plastic and glass bottles, aluminium cans, “domestic” soft plastic like food wrappers, cigarette butts, fabric, shoes/thongs, plant pots, pens, balls, furniture, whitegoods. Hats, gloves, pieces of rubber, fire extinguishers, buckets, tubs, and hard plastic pieces of all origins (including microplastics) made up 40% of the rubbish pieces and could not be attributed to a commercial or domestic origin, so were called Unknown.

1. Ocean Beach Area Percentage of total commercial

2. South-west of Strahan, Harbour side 3. Strahan and surrounds 4. King River and delta

Percentage of total domestic

5. East coast of Harbour 6. World Heritage Area

Percentage of total unkown

7. West coast of Harbour 0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Figure 16. Distribution of each category of rubbish

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The above analysis of the sources of debris does not include the rope and the polypipe, because they were not counted as individual pieces. Figure 12 shows that the east and west coasts of the Harbour are the places where most of the rope was found, and a similar pattern was identified during the polypipe retrieval. As these sites are closest to the aquaculture leases it is a logical assumption that this is where a lot of the aquaculture-associated debris ends up. The other location with a large amount of commercial debris was the King River and its delta. Much of this debris appears to be historical, dating from either the period when aquaculture pens were built at Lowanna before being towed to the lease sites, or the period when the Queenstown municipal tip was located on the bank of the Queen River, which flows into the King. Anecdotally, it seems that poor management practices in the past at this tip site contributed to the huge amount of rubbish (of all sources) in the King River and embedded in its banks and delta. Poor management practices may also have resulted in further pollution and dumping in the river, if residents had the attitude that â&#x20AC;&#x153;it was polluted anywayâ&#x20AC;?. More investigation is required.

Figure 17. Rafters picking up tyres from the King River (low water level). Notice the tyre stuck in the bank below the usual water level. (Photo: I. Flett).

As well as the King River area, the other two sites where large amounts of recreational and domestic rubbish were found were unsurprisingly, in the vicinity of the Strahan township and the campsites south-west of Strahan. There is clearly a problem with people littering, dumping rubbish and/or deciding not to take their rubbish with them after recreation activities, and it conforms with patterns of marine debris around Australia: rubbish is more highly concentrated around population centres.

Transport The Harbour has been well-studied due to mine tailings rehabilitation efforts in the late 1990's, and then more recently, aquaculture activities. The hydrodynamics of the system are complex, related to a relatively high freshwater inflow compared to tidal influence, the shape of the Harbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entrance and its large overall size. Near the entrance, there is a tidal influence, with strong currents sometimes generated through the narrow gap, while the

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behaviour of the main body of the Harbour is more like that in a closed basin, with barometric (air pressure) effects, wind forcing, and even the Coriolis effect causing water movement. Due to the huge effort involved, little time was spent during the clean-up specifically searching for evidence of long-distance transport of materials, but no obvious foreign materials (e.g. water bottles with non-English script) have been reported to the Clean-up organisers yet. If some debris with a non-local origin does make it through Hell's Gates and into the Harbour, it is likely to be a very small amount compared with the debris from local sources. Modelled water residence times for the Harbour water show that even in â&#x20AC;&#x153;zero river flowâ&#x20AC;? conditions, half the surface water moves through the system in 70 days. In other words, substances that pollute the Harbour water could eventually reach the sea. However, these predictions are for the water itself, not necessarily for objects on or in the water. The movement of solid debris would depend on the buoyancy, density and size of the debris components, as well as the weather conditions at the time they entered the water, and their point of release. An illustration of the debris transport dynamics was seen during the 2018 clean-up, when a Strahan resident found a "message in a bottle" during the Community Clean-up Day. The bottle had been in the Harbour for two years and suggests that some floating objects could wash up on shore before they are moved out through the heads and out to sea.

Composition Excluding the rope and polypipe, the rest of the debris was categorised by material composition. Approximately 80% of the rubbish pieces counted were made of plastic. A similar result was calculated in 2017. Metal Fabric

Rubber

Wood, Glass Cardboard, Paper

Plastic

Figure 18. Composition of the debris counted during sorting in 2018.

A list of the categories of debris commonly found during the two clean-ups has been put together and is available to use in future years or in other Tasmanian clean-up projects. See Table 3 in the Data section of this report (Page 21).

Change over time While it would be very interesting to look at debris accumulation rates in the Harbour and surrounding beaches (as has been recently attempted by the community group Beach Patrol in Port Philip Bay), the logistics of organising an annual 5-day clean-up at a remote location prevented some of the additional optional analyses from being undertaken. Survey sites were not identical between years, clean-up effort (person-hours and areas cleaned) varied between sites and between years, and some sites would have been cleaned more

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than once per year. Research from NSW has shown that estimates of marine debris accumulation rates are strongly affected by the frequency of sampling. Another complicating factor is related to the sources of the rubbish â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it is impossible to know how much historical debris is reworked from the King River (and its delta, bed and banks) compared with how much is new material added to the Harbour by recreational and commercial activities. Therefore, we only have a general comparison of the data between years for most sites. At Meredith St Boat Ramp, for example, a similar clean-up effort and area was undertaken in 2017 and 2018. Table 1 shows the comparison in drink containers between the two years. Table 1. Drink containers found at Meredith St Boat Ramp

Meredith St Boat Ramp Plastic bottles Glass bottles Aluminium cans

2017 90 240 231

2018 37 139 76

At Ocean Beach, 2617 pieces of rubbish were collected last year, while in 2018, 2406 pieces of rubbish were found.

Figure 19. Students from Strahan Primary School participating in the 2018 clean-up. (Photo: A. Wind).

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Recommendations As a result of the project, the aquaculture companies have committed to more regular independent clean-ups, and they are developing a Code of Practice regarding marine debris. However, reducing the other types of rubbish in the Harbour will require further actions. Infrastructure – To reduce littering and rubbish dumping, additional rubbish and recycling bins could be provided, and more frequent collections arranged. Education – Continued education is required - about marine debris impacts and responsible disposal of rubbish. As part of the Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up Project, Cradle Coast Authority NRM funded the Discovery Ranger Program to focus on this issue during their summer activities in 2017-18 in West Coast locations of Strahan, Macquarie Heads, Queenstown, Rosebery, Zeehan and Arthur River. This is a cost-effective community education program, engaging over 1000 participants across 25 sessions. This education program should be extended State-wide. School curriculum activities are also essential, as are general awareness-raising campaigns aimed at adults. Industry Code of Practice – To reduce the amount of aquaculture debris entering the environment, the introduction of a voluntary Code of Practice is a vital step. As a result of this, and the commitment by the aquaculture companies to conduct their own regular clean-ups, a significant reduction in commercial rubbish in Macquarie Harbour is expected in the future. Stakeholder engagement should be extended to commercial fishing companies in the region. Participation – Future clean-ups are still required. To enable the momentum of the past two years to continue, and for participation rates to keep building, continued focused engagement and capacity-building in the West Coast community is particularly important. Cradle Coast Authority plans to support annual clean-ups until they are no longer required. Ideally, reductions in local sources of rubbish (littering, dumping and aquaculture debris) around the Harbour will allow future clean-ups to focus on ocean-facing west coast beaches, which we know accumulate high densities of marine debris (including some from other countries, likely because of surface currents and wind patterns). Big picture changes – Changes in the way society manages waste are necessary and should be accelerated where possible. The work of the Cradle Coast Waste Management Group to encourage a local “circular economy” is one positive action. Industry-led actions to reduce, re-use and recycle are also gaining momentum in other states. Local leaders - Communities and individuals are driving positive action in efforts to avoid and reduce waste, and the excellent Rethink Waste website is one place where people can go for ideas and resources about these initiatives. Local government strategies to introduce landfill levies, drink container deposit schemes, compostable packaging at food outlets, or single-use plastic bans could be the types of systemic changes that make a difference to our coastal and marine ecosystems, while also highlighting a small community’s big commitment to caring for their environment.

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Data Table 2. Summary of data from 2018. Numbers in brackets indicate the number of groups or clean-up visits to the site. Sites Area Ocean Beach North (1) Ocean Beach South (1) Ocean Beach Swan Basin (1) Neck Island (1) Cat Island (1) Smith’s Cove (1) South-west of Strahan, Harbour side Meredith Boat Ramp (1) West Strahan Beach (3) Piner’s Punt (1) Piner’s Punt to Regatta Pt (1) Street Rubbish (1) Regatta Point (3) Dead Horse Point (1) Strahan and surrounds Goat Beach (1) King River North (1) King River Rafting (1) King River Island (1) King River South (1) King Point (2) King River and delta Pine Cove (1) Connelly's Pt to Pine Cove (3) Connelly's Point (2) Sophia Pt to Coal Head (3) Coal Head (2) Beach North of Philip's Is. (1) North of Braddon (2) East coast of Harbour Gould Point (1) Farm Cove (1) Picnic Point (1) Kelly Basin (1) Sarah Island (1) World Heritage Area Bryan's Bay (1) Double Cove to Table Head (3) Betsy’s Bay (1) Cosy Corner (1) West Coast of Harbour Total

Personhours 8 36 44 24 12 12 8 56 13 213 26 16 4 14 2 288 33 35 27 28 28 34 185 12 60 18 14 6 10 4 124 12.5 36 6 6 18 78.5 8 40 20 19.5 87.5 863 hrs

Approx survey length (m) 1000 4000 5000 2100 1400 2300 1400

Approx Area (ha) 3 8 11 3 1 2 1

8 118 126 115 72 100 150

Compare weights (kg per ha) 3 15 11 38 72 50 150

Number of bags 1 14 15 16 7 12 19

Pieces of rubbish (calculated) 170 2230 2400 1500 920 850 1650

% of total rubbish pieces 0.5 6.5 7.0 4.5 3.0 2.5 5.0

7200

7

54

437

62

4920

60 430

1 1

6 3

58 24

58 24

1000 800

1 2

6 6

68 74

1700 715 190 4895

3 1 1 10

3 21 2 47

1080 1500 5700 385 1300 1200 11165 4600 2600

1 6 1 6 7 2 23 2 3

1500 6700

Total mass (kg)

0.0 7.5 7.5 0 0.5 3.0 7.0

Total drink containers (counted) 22 250 272 447 207 345 94

15.0

10.5

1093

80 100

0.5 0.5

0 0

74 81

68 37

1140 280

3.5 1.0

0.5 0.5

219 46

24 151 36 435

8 151 36 44

240 3660 100 5600

0.5 11.0 0.5 17.5

0 2.0 0 3.0

130 328 8 886

11 12 18 31 7 32 111 10 31

85 102 294 208 44 398 1131 70 256

85 17 147 35 6 199 49 35 85

860 1040 480 4900 1160 3280 11720 1440 3140

2.5 3.0 1.5 15.0 3.5 10.0 35.5 4.5 9.0

1.5 0.5 0 1.5 0 0 3.5 3.5 15.5

120 83 174 610 75 551 1613 100 429

2 3

11 33

122 405

61 135

980 360

3.0 1.0

4.0 4.5

145 103

1600 1900 1200

1 2 1

16 11 2

192 104 22

192 52 22

180 200 200

0.5 0.5 0.5

11.0 0 0

31 11 5

20100 4400 18300 4100 10600 640 38040 2300 13000

14 1 4 1 2 8 16 2 7

114 9 12 1 2 3 27 1 21

1171 109 106 8 14 19 256 12 158

84 109 27 8 7 2 16 6 23

6500 120 260 60 100 180 720 80 150

19.0 0.5 1.0 0.5 0.5 0.5 3.0 0.5 0.5

38.5 5.0 6.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 13 0.5 6.5

824 21 47 6 2 10 86 10 96

5400 4500 25200

5 2 16

11 9 42

81 94 345

16 47 22

560 250 1040

1.5 1.0 3.5

7.0 10.0 24.0

155 135 396

112 km

97 ha

410 bags

3901 kg

40 kg/ha

32900 pieces

Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up | Outcomes and Discussion

% of total rope

5170 containers

20


Table 3. List of debris categories used in the project Category Aquaculture pen component Aquaculture walkway Commercial buoy Industrial soft plastic pieces Large chemical drum (metal) Large fish bin lid Large plastic drum/bin Large poly bag Packing straps Pipe shavings Polypipe fittings Polypipe lengths Polypipe pieces Polystyrene - float pieces (tubes) Polystyrene - other Rope

Description Various pieces Whole or part pieces Large black plastic, cam buoy, hazard marker etc e.g piece of polypropylene bag, or thick polythene feed bag eg 40 gallon 1.5m x 1.5m eg 40 gallon eg bulk bag or tarp, >2m2 (swarf) End and joiner pieces Various dimensions, record in separate categories Add polypipe piece count from categories above Large pieces, count 1m lengths Whole buoys, boxes and small pieces Main rope count

Rope - Large piece of rope (m) Rope - Net (kg) Rope - Pieces of rope and net Wire spool (plastic) Wooden pallet 4-sale sign (plastic) Aluminium cans Broken glass Cardboard box Chemical drum or jerry can (plastic) Cigarette butts Corrugated iron pieces Domestic soft plastic pieces Foam Furniture Glass bottles Hub cap or car part Large fabric inc. canvas & carpet Lightbulb Medical/sanitary Metal jerry can or container Milk crate Pen (writing) Pieces of fabric Pieces of fibro/building material Pieces of paper/cardboard/coffee cups Pieces of porcelain/pottery Pieces of timber/wood Plant pot Plastic bottles Port-a-potty toilet/ toilet seat Road reflector post (plastic) Shoes/thongs Sports ball, any type Steel dropper or similar Tetrapak Toothbrush Toy - fabric Toy - plastic Tree guard Tub lid - small, plastic Tyre Tyre inner tube Whitegoods Wire piece or roll Witches hat

Add count from categories above

Also plastic lease-marker sign; corflute Estimate in number of whole bottles Also 5L water bottle Also other flat metal pieces e.g. food packaging, supermarket bag Mattress or cushion piece, pool toy Chair frame, bed frame, camping chair

eg awning or canvas cover, >2m2

Or similar

Also broom handle

Also steel pipe like scaffolding pipe

eg teddy bear eg doll also plastic tray, plastic tub lid,

Fridge, water heater, Eg. Fencing wire

Source Commercial Commercial Commercial

Material Plastic Plastic Plastic

Record Count Count Count

Commercial

Plastic

Count

Commercial Commercial Commercial Commercial Commercial Commercial Commercial Commercial

Metal Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic

Count Count, describe Count Count Count Count Count Measure length

Commercial

Plastic

Count

Commercial Commercial Commercial

Plastic Plastic Plastic ?

Commercial

Plastic ?

Commercial Commercial Commercial Commercial Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic

Plastic ? Plastic ? Plastic Wood/Cardboard/Paper Plastic Metal Glass/Ceramic Wood/Cardboard/Paper Plastic Plastic Metal Plastic Plastic Metal ? Glass/Ceramic Metal Fabric Glass/Ceramic Plastic Metal Plastic Plastic Fabric Wood/Cardboard/Paper Wood/Cardboard/Paper Glass/Ceramic Wood/Cardboard/Paper Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic Metal Wood/Cardboard/Paper Plastic Fabric Plastic Plastic Plastic Rubber Rubber Metal Metal Plastic

Count Count Measure weight (and/or count pieces?) Measure length + mass Measure size + mass Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count

Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up | Outcomes and Discussion

21


Category Large soft plastic piece Metal chain or other metal pieces Aerosol cans Aluminium sign Bucket or tub (plastic) Electrical wire Fire extinguisher Flouro inflatable buoy Gloves Hard plastic pieces

Description eg plastic sheeting, >2m2, inflatable matress

All hard plastic pieces not in above category including microplastics*

Hats Life ring Oil bottle (plastic) Outboard motor cover or piece Pieces of metal Pieces of rubber Plastic mesh Rubber mat

Source Domestic ? Domestic ? Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Material Plastic Metal Metal Metal Plastic Metal Metal Plastic Fabric Plastic

Record Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count

Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Fabric Plastic Plastic Plastic Metal Rubber Plastic Rubber

Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count

* Hard plastic pieces are often counted in different size categories.

Table 4. Data summary from 2017 clean-up. Number of personhours

Site

Area (ha)

Commercial rubbish pieces

Domestic/ recreational rubbish pieces

Unidentified rope

Small plastic pieces (<3 cm)

Total pieces (+ unsorted bags)

All other stuff

Rum Point

35

16.4

97

121

489

0

13

720

Pine Point

36

6.2

59

44

173

0

57

333

Big Pebbly

26

15.5

320.7

395

0

4000

324

5040

Big Pebbly & Sth Brisbane’s Bay

42

23

149

47

795

0

15

1006

Smith Cove

23

0.6

202

109

455

0

344

1110

Birches Bay

24

25.8

3

0

8

0

0

(20)

Sarah Is

48

1.12

20

0

100

0

0

140 (+ 7)

St Leger- Brisbane’s Bay

42

27.1

149

251

900

0

175

1475

Braddon

36

19.7

94

58

405

1000

1171

2728

Gould Point

24

3.4

184

24

633

1500

50

2391

Ocean Beach

93

85.6

117

261

189

1500

550

2617

King River Delta South

40

27

312

433

86

6000

439

7270

King River Delta North

96

31.8

330

473

435

4000

575

5813

6

10

80

203

13

400

156

852

Meredith St Boat Ramp

18

0.2

37

584

11

500

302

1434

Town Centre to Piner’s Punt

28

3.6

93

191

100

1000

395

1779

617

297

2248

3194

4792

19900

4586

34720

King River Island

Totals

Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up | Outcomes and Discussion

22


Contacts and Further Information This report has been developed by the Cradle Coast Authority NRM team. If you would like more information or to use any of the data, please contact: Cradle Coast Authority Media & Comms Manager – cgalestanton@cradlecoast.com Cradle Coast Authority NRM Project Officer – iflett@cradlecoast.com Cradle Coast Authority NRM Coastal Coordinator – awind@cradlecoast.com

This project is supported by Cradle Coast Authority NRM, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up | Outcomes and Discussion

23

Profile for Cradle Coast Tasmania

Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Cleanup outcomes and discussion report 2018  

Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Cleanup outcomes and discussion report 2018

Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Cleanup outcomes and discussion report 2018  

Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Cleanup outcomes and discussion report 2018