The Tasmanian Southwest Marine Debris Cleanup has received a national award for its outstanding work removing rubbish from remote World Heritage beaches in the state’s southwest.
Cleanup coordinator Matt Dell travelled to Perth on Tuesday night to accept the Environment Award on behalf of himself, cray fisherman Dave Wyatt and expedition volunteers at the Australian Seafood Industry’s annual National Conference.
“Marine debris is poisoning our ecosystems from the ground up. With total global plastic production doubling every ten years, this issue is not going away anytime soon,” said Mr Dell.
“We have collected, counted and sorted nearly half a million items from within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area over the past 15 years. This year alone, we removed over 79,000 pieces of rubbish from Australia’s most wild, spectacular and remote beaches.
“We continue to work with the Tasmanian Fisheries Industry Council, the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Association and the Tasmanian Abalone Council to identify and minimise the potential waste sources within the Tasmanian fishing industry and remove them from the production cycle.
“We can all do our bit in tackling this globally critical issue. We need to stop the rubbish getting into the ocean in the first place. Here in Tasmania, the Government needs to show they’re serious about protecting our World Heritage Area. They must take urgent action and introduce long-overdue container deposit legislation” concluded Mr Dell.