Gold Coast Marine Debris Network

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 1.17.47 pm


The Gold Coast Marine Debris Network connects those who are passionate and active in tackling marine debris issues on the Gold Coast. We work towards providing solutions to reduce marine debris from entering Gold Coast’s waterways and subsequently, the marine environment and oceans.

Marine debris = any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment (UN Environment Program, 2009)

Research suggests that 6.4 million tonnes of marine debris reach the world’s oceans each year, and that around 8 million items enter the sea every day. Plastics consistently comprise 60 to 80% of total marine debris recorded. Levels and rates of marine debris input are increasing despite measures to control the problem.

Marine debris is a huge economic and environmental problem globally and is largely present on the Gold Coast, with the Gold Coast Seaway having the highest incidence of fishing debris in an urban area in Australia. The negative impacts for example on our beaches, waterways and foreshores reduce aesthetic values for tourism and recreation, and cause life threatening impacts to wildlife. Discarded fishing line and tackle is a major contributor to bird entanglement leading to starvation and death. Communities have taken a particular interest in facilitating coastal and land based clean ups for decades, despite, the issue never going away.

The Gold Coast Marine Debris Network aims to reduce local marine debris by supporting the coordination of action, including clean ups and source reduction planning between the community and government partners on the Gold Coast. 

If you are:

  • Interested in reducing marine debris on the Gold Coast
  • Active in regular clean ups
  • Planning a clean up
  • Keen to stay up to date with what happens on the Gold Coast to reduce marine debris
  • Adopting a Tackle Bin to reduce discarded fishing line and tackle (see below)

We would like to meet you.

Register your details here to connect with us – click here.

Source reduction projects: 

Tackle Bin Project #tacklebinproject

A number of special ‘tackle bins’ have been installed at popular fishing spots around the Gold Coast in an attempt to reduce the amount of fishing line litter around the city.

Kellie Lindsay, coordinator of the Gold Coast Marine Debris Network, said “the Gold Coast experiences the highest incidence of littered fishing tackle of any urban area in Australia. This causes hundreds of entanglements of birds and other wildlife every year, and also causes threats to children and pets.”

The bins have been installed at locations including the Seaway, Oxenford Weir, and the Tallebudgera and Currumbin creeks. They are made in Australia from 100% recycled materials, and are designed to keep unwanted fishing tackle secure and allow it to be disposed of safely. They also serve to educate anglers and the wider community about the importance of correctly disposing of fishing waste.

The Tackle Bin Project has been made possible by funding from the Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation, Healthy Water and Land, and the Gold Coast Waterways Authority, with support from City of Gold Coast, Gecko, Wild Birds Rescue Gold Coast, the Gold Coast Catchment Association, and Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Reef Check Australia


Background to establishing the Gold Coast Marine Debris Network:

In 2011 several community groups on the Gold Coast commenced auditing marine debris and litter they collect for the Australian Marine Debris Database. The Database is a national database that houses marine debris data to strategically implement source reduction plans. The Database has been in operation for over 12 years and houses almost 8million data items from 15% of Australia’s beaches. We understand that this database has the most comprehensive data for marine debris on the Gold Coast.

Due to increasing awareness and action for marine debris on the Gold Coast, in March 2016, a source reduction marine debris workshop was facilitated by Tangaroa Blue Foundation to connect the Gold Coast community and government partners to identify key priority actions for marine debris management. An outcome of the workshop was establishing a Gold Coast Marine Debris Network (GCMDN), hosted by the Gold Coast Catchment Association, to network existing and emerging interest for marine debris action.

This network is supported by the: the Gold Coast Catchment Association, Responsible Runners Gold Coast, Youth4Beaches, Reef Check Australia, Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation, SEQ Catchments, Boomerang Alliance, Wild Bird Rescues Gold Coast, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Boomerang Bags, Surfrider Foundation, Waste Angels, Diving the Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Waterways Authority and represented partners in the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast.

Key contacts for the network:

site design Working Planet