IOT Marine Debris Project 2018

The second annual IOT Marine Debris Project 2018 on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island brought together a team of off-island volunteers, partners and local people to volunteer to collect and audit marine debris at beach sites on the islands, the majority washing in from offshore sources.

The volunteers and Parks Australia officers cleared and audited 400kg of marine debris on Dolly Beach, Christmas Island

This joint project is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, coordinated by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) on behalf of the Commonwealth and supported by Tangaroa Blue Foundation (TBF).

Ocean plastic pollution is a growing issue in many parts of the world, with the potential to severely impact on wildlife, human health and tourism economy. Investing in the research and awareness of these issues now, will ensure that we all have beautiful places to visit into the future. Tangaroa Blue Foundation's Heidi Taylor and Matt Wheldon, took the lead on the collection and audit process, DWER staff managed the volunteers and logistics of the project, and an amazing group of volunteers worked solidly to collect more than 45,000 items on Cocos (Keeling) Islands and 90,000 items on Christmas Island. 

Besides the audit of items, details of brands and origins have been collected, and will be added to over future years with the data used to track the debris to its source and work on mitigation strategies. The data showed that the islands are impacted by debris washing up from all over the world, with a small percentage coming from the local community, so there are still things that the community can do to help with this international issue.

In 2018 the Marine Debris Project was conducted over a week on Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) from Saturday 28 April -Saturday 5 May and a week on Christmas Island, Saturday 5 May- Saturday 12 May 2018.

Cocos Keeling Island totals see for numbers

Cocos Keeling Island information see for numbers

Christmas Island Totals

Auditing the marine debris on Cocos Island

Digging out a washed-up rope on Turtle beach

Indian Ocean Group training association getting involved in the marine debris collection on Turtle Beach (CKI)

Students from Christmas Island District High School collecting and auditing on Greta Beach.

Parks Australia collecting marine debris Dolly Beach, Christmas Island

A large piece of polystyrene that washed up on Dolly Beach