Australian Marine Parks

Monday 3 June 2024

From 30 April to 2 May, more than 50 Indigenous rangers across 20 ranger groups came together in Gulkula, Northern Territory to discuss the environmental and social impact of marine debris and ghost nets in Australia’s northern beaches, coastal waters and communities.

The ‘Rubbish on the Shore’ event brought together Indigenous Rangers, scientists, researchers, artists and design professionals committed to finding solutions to this complex problem. Rangers were encouraged to share ideas on better ways to tackle the issues associated with removing, recycling and repurposing marine debris.

The forum was a collaboration between Parks Australia, the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), and Agency Projects, and was funded through Parks Australia’s Ghost Nets Innovative Solutions grants.

The Director of National Parks, Ricky Archer, attended the event and delivered a keynote address.

“The Indigenous Ranger Coastal Cleanup program is a vital part of Parks Australia’s Ghost Nets Initiative. The Think Tank builds on that collaboration, bringing together many of the key players who are working together to tackle ghost nets and marine debris in northern Australia,” Mr Archer said.

Assistant Secretary of DAFF Science and Surveillance, Wayne See Kee said ghost nets cause significant environmental damage, introduce marine pests and synthetic materials into the environment and create safety hazards impacting shipping or navigation.

“The Think Tank provided a gathering of minds dedicated to finding solutions to these pressing challenges, while showcasing the work of individuals, groups and institutions working in this important area,” Mr See Kee said.