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Ship pollution and marine debris on Thursday Island

201612 TagaiFrom 17-19 August 2016, the Tangaroa Blue Foundation teamed up with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to deliver a marine debris education program to school students on Thursday Island.

We continued to work with our long time partners Tagai State College and had the pleasure of welcoming a new school, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary School. The program aimed to raise awareness of the problem of marine debris and to show how damaging the impacts can be. By understanding the issue, students gained a better appreciation of the work AMSA and Tangaroa Blue do in preventing and managing marine debris in Australian waters.

Beach clean up activities were run on TI, and students were shown how and why the debris is sorted in order to collect data in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database, and how this data can be used to help address the problem.

The older students at Tagai State College were given more detailed information on AMSA’s role in the prevention of pollution from vessels, specifically in regards to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (called MARPOL Annex V). They were shown the technical requirements of the legislation and how to report suspected illegal garbage discharges at sea. This information was of particular relevance to the TAFE students who are currently working towards the qualifications required to move into the maritime industry.