ENVIRONMENT - Marine Queensland voices marine pollution concerns

ENVIRONMENT - Marine Queensland voices marine pollution concerns

State recreational marine industry body, Marine Queensland has raised concerns in regard to the increased levels of pollution being reported in waterways following the recent storms.

Marine Queensland said it is estimated that 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed annually from litter around the globe, and the bulk of this pollution is from runoff.

“We all share a responsibility in keeping our waterways and beaches clean,” said Don Jones, general manager Marine Queensland.

“Contrary to popular belief as to the source of marine pollution, it is those who use the water the most — recreational boaties and fishermen — who are most passionate about preserving our marine environment,” he said.

While deliberate littering is a major issue for our beaches, bays and waterways, Marine Queensland claimed the greatest contributor to waterways pollution is the waste that occurs as a result of runoff from streets and roads via storm water drains. A recent report released by the United Nations, it said, indicated that as much as 80 per cent of the rubbish found in waterways has come from the land.

“In Queensland, significant research and debate has been centered on designating ‘marine parks’ and ‘green zones’ to preserve our marine environments and the marine life therein. It makes a mockery of the process when the hard work is undone by stray plastic bags, water bottles and other rubbish that has drifted into the ocean from the mainland,” said Jones.

“The only way we will be able to reduce the pollution in our oceans and pristine waterways is to reduce the pollution on our mainland,” he said.

Marine Queensland says it has identified measures we can all take, both on and off the water to reduce our impact on the environment:
* Be conscious of rubbish. Always make sure your trash ends up in the rubbish or recycle bin at the end of a fishing trip. Pick up a stray bit of rubbish floating by your boat or washed up on the beach;
* Be careful when refueling or conducting boat maintenance while out on the water and avoid spilling fuel and oil;
* When emptying sewage holding tanks make sure you do so at a designated sewage collection outlet or at the very least, in accordance with the rules and regulations set out by the local government or port authority;
* Do not dispose of solvents, oils, paints, varnish, thinners, paint strippers, pesticides, poisons, fertilisers, acids and solid objects down the drain. Check with you local council as to the correct, and environmentally friendly, methods of disposal for these items;
* When washing the car and boat at home, try to do so on the lawn or a grassy area. This will minimise the runoff of detergents that will find their way into storm water drains and into the ocean; and,
* Ensure all rubbish from cars and around the home ends up in rubbish bins.

For more information, visit www.marineqld.com.au