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Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:51 pm
Occupation: Student

Ocean Pollution Australia

Postby mikaylam » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:53 pm

I am currently a year 11 student taking part in the research project subject. My main focus questions is based around ocean pollution and I was wondering if you would be able to answer a few questions, if you could it would be greatly appreciated.


1. Do you believe Australia is taking enough action to reduce the amount of pollution in the ocean?
2. What type of pollution do you believe is causing the most marine life fatalities and marine environment damage?
3. What do you trust is the most sustainable way to manage ocean pollution in Australia?
4. Do you think Australians need to be more educated about the effects of ocean pollution?


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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:42 pm
Occupation: Biostatistician/Data Scientist

Re: Ocean Pollution Australia

Postby MadelineB » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:07 pm

Hello Mikaylam and welcome to Science Buddies,

I'm definitely not an expert on ocean pollution but a colleague of mine who has experience in marine fisheries in Australia has graciously offered some comments to your post:

In general, I'd say that Australia is about the same at plastic and micro-plastic pollution as most similarly developed countries, but we're doing something about that, now. Single use plastic bags are now illegal in most states, for example, and plastic drink bottles in most states are returnable, for the refund of a pretty stiff deposit.

BUT where it really matters, and where there is still a big problem, is with the Great Barrier Reef. The main threats affecting the reef at the present time are a) climate change, b) agricultural runoff from coastal streams and c) attack by the crown-of-thorns starfish. The latter two are linked, of course, as high nutrient load in the water aids the out-of-control spread of crown-of-thorns, and the excess nutrient load is due to agricultural runoff. Of course the runoff also includes sediment plumes and agricultural toxic chemicals and other nasties. One recent Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority report highlights this issue http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/our-work/reef- ... ook-report Of course there are many other pristine reefs vulnerable to this kind of damage, but most are in regions with relatively little agricultural activity in the adjoining mainland. (E.g. Ningaloo reef off the West Australian coast.)

I'm sure he will be happy to respond if you have follow-up questions.

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