Marine debris cleanup at Red Rock

Fishing and other debris continues to be a problem in coastal estuaries world wide. In an effort to keep one of our local waterways clean, SURG members undertook a cleanup at picturesque Red Rock river recently. The section of the river from near the shop upstream to around the boat ramp is heavily fished by recreational divers and has been the site of regular surveys in past years.

The survey methodology, usually conducted the day before, involves 4 by 25 metre transects, each 5 m wide, end on end, with divers recording all marine debris within that footprint. The data collected is entered into a database for future analysis. After the survey is completed, the debris is removed, usually by a larger team of divers in the following days, and the results of this days efforts can be seen here.

Most of the items recovered were fishing related, usually lengths of fishing line, often with hook, swivels and sinkers attached, but more frequently, soft plastic lures are being recovered. Also recovered in this cleanup were some bits of cloth, one plastic and two glass bottles. Around 12 SURG members participated in what was a fun outing resulting in a cleaner local environment.