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This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Emerging Priorities project - "Assessing the effectiveness of waste management in reducing the levels of plastics entering Australia’s marine environment". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- This project will contribute to better understanding where to target investment in abatement measures by providing information on the extent of the leakage of plastic materials into the marine environment, where the greatest leakages are and in what quantity, and what form they take (e.g. plastic bags, packaging, takeaway containers). It will also identify what type of facilities, policies and outreach strategies governments (state and local) have in place and undertake an assessment of their effectiveness. The objectives of this project are to: 1. Investigate the relationship between plastic debris in the marine environment and litter data from nearby sites; 2. Determine whether there are identifiable pathways through which plastic debris moves into the marine environment; 3. Investigate whether particular investments in facilities, policies or outreach are effective in reducing plastic debris on coasts and in oceans and where investment should be directed in the future; and 4. Initiate an internal department workshop to socialise the outcomes of the research across the relevant arms of the department, including staff involved in approvals, waste, protected species, and parks, and explore the utility of existing data to address the Department’s needs, including those arising from the TAP and the Senate Inquiry. Planned Outputs • A written report and plain English summary for use by state, territory and local governments, which: - Synthesises existing knowledge on the relationship between debris in the marine environment and litter data from nearby sites, the types of litter and the pathways through which litter moves into the marine environment. - Summarises existing coastal debris/litter survey methodologies with discussion of applications of each. • A list of the activities and programs associated with plastic waste reduction (including facilities, policies and outreach), • A publically accessible analysis and summary of different survey methods aiming to reduce debris inputs to the marine environment. - The cost of the activities and programs - Ranking of activities and programs regarding their effectiveness in reducing plastic waste in the marine environment. • Conclusions on where marine debris hot spots are in Australia’s marine environment and effective mitigation strategies. • Recommendations on where more information (scientific, policy, infrastructure, community engagement) is required to obtain a better understanding of the problem and possible solutions. This may include identifying knowledge gaps and needs for further analysis
In this study, 34 fledgling Fairy Prions (Pachyptila turtur) recovered during a wreck event in south-eastern Tasmania in 2022 were examined for ingested plastics (number, mass, type, colour, and particle size) and body condition (e.g., wing chord length).
This data describes the characterisation and estimated concentration of marine plastics in waters around Australia from surface net tows. The marine plastics recorded were predominantly small fragments (‘‘microplastics’’) resulting from the breakdown of larger objects made of polyethylene and polypropylene (e.g. packaging and fishing items). This data accompanies the following publication: Reisser J, Shaw J, Wilcox C, Hardesty BD, Proietti M, et al. (2013) Marine Plastic Pollution in Waters around Australia: Characteristics, Concentrations, and Pathways. PLoS ONE 8(11): e80466. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080466