While on a kayaking expedition on Macquarie harbour in March, SPRATS volunteer and WILDCARE Board member Sally Simco tied a foam buoy in a tree as a marker of a stash of marine debris gathered at Asbestos Point Beach, not far from Sarah Island.

 It was decided that a reward would be offered to whoever collected the buoy and returned it to Strahan during the Macquarie Harbour Marine Debris Clean-up, on 1st-5th April.

Sally returned in April to participate in the unprecedented, community environmental clean-up, co-ordinated by Cradle Coast NRM, as part of a WILDCARE SPRATS team. ( See previous post by Friends of Macquarie Harbour and Waterways.)  After a day retrieving debris from Birchs Beach, located between the mouth of the Gordon River and the entrance to Birchs Inlet, Sally called  into the spot marked by GPS co-ordinates to discover that the stash and buoy had disappeared.   Who had claimed the buoy?


Birchs Beach in the World Heritage area wouldn’t be a place that you think you would find a baby’s dummy, a plastic flowerpot and a $10 note!


Satisfied SPRATS volunteers Ingrid, Jenny, Michael and Graeme return to Strahan in a HUON Aquaculture fish-farm vessel skippered by Rob, after a day out collecting marine debris with Luke Kapitany, Community Engagement Officer for Tassal.


WILDCARE and Conservation Volunteers Australia spent hours sorting the collected items and recording data for a CSIRO survey to provide base-line information for future clean-ups…….700 plastic bottles,700 cans,540 glass bottles and over 5000 pieces of rope, with larger items such as polypipe, fire extinguishers, buoys, engine covers, picnic tables, a car and a tv…. were just some of the items.




Jenny and Michael sorting a collection of debris collected from King River Delta,

including some historical items over 50 years old.




WILDCARE volunteer Jenny and PWS Graduate Ranger Rhys Wilson boating up the King River in a zodiac full of rubbish.


Sally collecting rubbish at Ocean Beach on a rare calm day. Apart from 2 car bodies most rubbish consisted of small fragments of shredded rope and plastic.

And the buoy?

It was found nestled in amongst the piles of orange rubbish bags back at the Strahan wharf. A member of one of the fish farm dive-teams was responsible for bringing it in.

His reward?

Great satisfaction in seeing the 54 cubic metres of debris no longer posing a threat to the environment and wildlife of Macquarie Harbour.