24 April 2024

Marine debris project nets 2.4t of Gulf ghost gear

| Cape York Weekly
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The Carpentaria Contracting team inspects the recovered ghost gear after using a crane on their vessel to lift the 2.4-tonne pile out of the water. Photo: Supplied.

A mammoth pile of marine debris first spotted off Weipa almost three months ago has been removed from the ocean.

The result is being heralded as a significant victory by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, which said the 2.4-tonne mass of ghost gear had been recovered by Australian Marine Debris Initiative partner Carpentaria Contracting after its location began being tracked with a Project ReCon bouy last month.

“The team used the crane on their vessel Strait Shooter to remove the ghost gear – now that’s heavy lifting,” a Tangaroa Blue Foundation spokesperson said.

“Our partners NQ Bulk Ports originally spotted this ghost gear drifting in Boyd Bay, Weipa, in early February.

“They notified our buoy host, Carpentaria Contracting, who issued a Project ReCon buoy to Queensland Fisheries and the Nanum Wungthim Land and Sea Rangers; once a safe weather window occurred, the team took their vessel out and deployed a Project ReCon buoy onto the ghost gear.”

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Ghost gear is abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear in the marine environment, which drifts in global currents and often finishes its journey washed up as debris on Cape York and Torres Strait beaches.

Project ReCon trackers are affixed to ghost gear when it is spotted in the Gulf of Carpentaria so the marine debris can be surveilled until recovery can be coordinated.

Carpentaria Contracting has a number of trackers, which can be borrowed by Weipa anglers and boaters if they would like to contribute to the initiative while on the water.

For more information about borrowing a tracker, email [email protected].

This 2.4-tonne pile of ghost gear has been removed after first being spotted in Weipa’s Boyd Bay in February. Photo: Supplied.

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