It’s a stunning Tasmanian day, you’re out on the water and life is great! The wind is in just the right quarter, the boat is sliding along beautifully and everyone’s enjoying themselves. You pull into a secluded bay somewhere along the D’Entrecasteaux channel and start unpacking lunch. Just then, one of your guests spots something on the beach and you take the tender to investigate. It’s a young seal, severely distressed and near death, with its neck caught in a vicelike knot of old fishing net and mooring line. Should you call Parks & Wildlife? Cut it loose? Put the poor creature out of its misery? Either way, the afternoon has been ruined and you’re cursing the careless idiot who threw this deadly flotsam overboard. Marine pollution touches everyone who uses our beautiful cruising waters and it’s a growing, serious problem. Thankfully, there are good people out there doing something about it, including the ‘Plastic Police’ run by the organisation Conservation Volunteers
Conservation Volunteers are recruiting help from anyone who gets out and about on Tasmanian waters or shoreline. The first step in fixing the marine pollution problem is measuring it, and local clean-ups track the GPS coordinates of problem spots, quantity of rubbish collected and local conditions of wind, tide and weather. If you have a favourite anchorage somewhere in south east Tasmania and you would like to see it stay unsullied by rafts of plastic rubbish, maybe you can pitch in to lend a hand.
Click on this link to learn more about the program – and how you can help.