Our coasts are under more pressure than ever before as we are beginning to understand the full scale of the plastic pollution problem.
With an estimated 11 million metric tons of plastic waste entering the ocean every year, our marine animals are swallowing more plastic than ever — and it’s killing them. In northern Australia, researchers say there is up to three tonnes of marine debris per kilometre along 11 monitored beaches.
Plastic entangles or is eaten by marine animals, leading to suffocation and starvation. Each day over 250 marine animals and over 2,700 seabirds choke to death on the plastic polluting our oceans.
Ghost nets are abandoned or discarded fishing nets that remain in our seas, fishing, long after the fishing boats have moved on and returned home. Annually, an estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is lost, abandoned, or discarded across the world. As nets drift throughout our seas they continue to entangle wildlife. Turtles make up 80 percent of the marine life found caught in the nets.
“We need our governments to make responsible and sustainable decisions to protect our Top End coastlines” – Luke Playford, Dhimurru Sea country Project Facilitator.