Remote Marine Plastic Pollution Clean-up at Moreton Island

Thursday, 08 Aug, 2019

Even on the most pristine of beaches, plastic pollution is proving deadly. 

During July, Sea Shepherd's onshore volunteer crew conducting a remote clean-up at Queensland's Moreton Island (Mulgumpin) found a dead green sea turtle entangled in discarded fishing gear.

This tragic discovery demonstrates how plastic pollution is threatening Australia’s precious marine wildlife. 

A dead green sea turtle found entangled in discarded fishing gear by Sea Shepherd volunteers.

According to the Queensland Government, Moreton Island is one of the least polluted and least disturbed coastal environments along the Queensland – New South Wales coast. In spite of this, results from our clean-up showed significant plastic accumulation on the island with over one tonne of marine debris removed from the 21km stretch of beach cleaned. 

Sea Shepherd volunteers collect plastic pollution from the dunes of Moreton Island.

The clean-up was attended by ten Sea Shepherd volunteers from around Australia as part of Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaign. 

A range of items was found during the clean-up, including:

  • Plastic bottles and bottle caps
  • Hard plastic pieces and soft plastic remnants
  • Cigarette lighters
  • Cyalume fishing glow sticks
  • Toothbrushes
  • Rubber thongs, and
  • Balloons


Marine plastic pollution found during Sea Shepherd’s remote clean-up at Moreton Island.

"Moreton Island is a beautiful and unique location, home to so many important marine species. It is just so sad to see the amount of marine pollution here that poses such a massive threat to them."  - Campaign Leader Rebecca Griffiths

Alarmingly, these findings on Moreton Island are just one example of the vast problem that is plastic pollution. In a recent collaboration with a leading research scientist in the field of plastic pollution, Dr Jennifer Lavers, a conservative estimate of 414 million pieces of marine debris were found to be present on the beaches of Australia’s remote Cocos Keeling Islands

Plastic bottles found on the beaches of Moreton Island.

Take Action Today!

No matter your age or whether you live by the coast or inland, you can be part of the movement to #StemtheTide of marine plastic pollution.

Since 2016, Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaign has been committed to cleaning up waterways and beaches. Our passionate onshore crew and volunteer participants have removed over 2.6 million pieces of trash from polluting our oceans.   

Get involved by joining a Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign clean-up near you! 

Find out more via our dedicated Marine Debris Campaign Facebook and Instagram pages.

Sea Shepherd volunteers collect plastic pollution on the beach at Moreton Island.


WATCH AND SHARE our video: Cleaning Plastics from Moreton Island 

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