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Mapoon Beach Clean-Up Collects Over 400 Bags of Marine Debris
Over five days last week, a crew of 18 set themselves the mammoth task of cleaning up the northern end of Cullen Point and Back Beach, at Mapoon on the west of Cape York.

Though the beach is regularly patrolled by the Land & Sea Rangers, who remove ghost nets (derelict fishing nets) and larger items, the amount of marine debris has been described by local residents as overwhelming.

Located in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Mapoon is a hot spot for ghost nets and other marine debris, mostly from South East Asia because of prevailing currents and winds.

Members of the Mapoon Land & Sea Rangers, a team from Conservation Volunteers Australia, plus volunteers from GhostNets Australia and Tangaroa Blue, covered over half the beach (11.6 km) during the week.
The crew removed just under 3700kg of debris, filling over 400 clean-up bags, plus a number of larger items that couldn’t fit into bags.

Among the items collected:
• 7154 flip flops
• 877 cigarette lighters
• 2563 gill net floats - identified as those used in the illegal and unregulated fisheries operating in the Arafura Sea region.

 
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Yet Another Invasive Species - Yellow flag-iris is an aquatic plant that can grow in both saltwater and freshwater. Introduced to North America a century ago as a showy garden ornamental, the plant has spread widely into natural areas by both seed and underground stems.


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