Lynchpin is pleased to promote Redmap, an interactive website that invites the Tasmanian community to spot, log and map marine species that are uncommon in Tasmania, or along particular parts of the coast. The information collected is mapped and displayed on the site, to demonstrate over time, how species distribution may be changing.
Learn more about species shift and the new sea-life moving south with the East Australian Current and tracked by Redmap supporters at ABC News, 9 March, 2012.
The Redmap tracking program links with the stop-motion Lynchpin Project 1 for 20122. Read more at Current Scholarships.
Marine Plastic Pollution
Listen to Robyn Williams on the Science Show as he expands our understanding of Plastic Pollution. He talks with:
In 1997 Charles Moore captained his boat from Hawaii to California. He sailed through the doldrums, an area of calm winds and seas, passing through the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. It is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch due to the accumulation of plastic. Captain Moore describes the vast area as a soup of plastic. The experience turned Charles Moore into a citizen activist. He has written a book, Plastic Ocean trying to raise awareness of the problem plastic has become as it finds its way into the stomachs of almost all marine creatures.
Dr Jennifer Lavers: documenting marine plastic ingestion by the flesh-footed shearwater of Lord Howe Island. Of particular concern is the capacity of plastics to attract chemicals subsequently absorbed by marine animals and birds.
and with Ian Hutton, ecologist, climatologist and curator of the Lord Howe Island museum, on Radio National’s Off Track.
ABC TV’s Catalyst features Plastic Oceans
Now see ABC TV’s Catalyst feature Plastic Oceans: In our throw away world a plastic bag outlives it’s usefulness after around fifteen minutes. A plastic bottle might last a little longer, party balloons a whole occasion. But the ocean likes to hang onto these discarded treasures for decades, even centuries with devastating unexpected results.
See the Bookend Trust’s new interactive program focussing on marine debris around the coast of Tasmania – starting July 2012!
Pacific Ocean’s ecology affected by floating debris
New findings: May 2012:
Plastic Trash Altering Ocean Habitats, Scripps Study Shows
Sharp increase of small plastic debris in the ‘Garbage Patch’ could have ecosystem-wide consequences
Read report of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers’ work off the coast of California which has determined that the amount of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean has increased at least one hundred fold over the past 40 years.
Plastic pollution from a laundry near you:
An international team of scientists has taken samples from beaches around the world and found microscopic pieces of plastic at every site.
ABC Radio National; The World Today : 30 January, 2012
Dr Mark Browne has collaborated with the University of Sydney’s Centre for Research on Ecological Impacts of Coastal Cities.
CSIRO: Tackling marine debris: 4 March 2012
CSIRO is working to understand and ameliorate the impacts of marine debris on biodiversity. Dr Britta Denise Hardesty of the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship is investigating the threat posed by marine debris to Australian wildlife and ecosystems.
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
Marine Debris and its Impact on Marine Living Resources CCAMLR Members continually monitor marine debris at several sites on the Antarctic Peninsula and other Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic islands. The Secretariat houses the CCAMLR Marine Debris Database which contains data from 13 sites.
South West Marine Debris Cleanup
Much closer to home, the Annual South West Marine Debris Cleanup on Tasmania’s remote south-west beaches reveals the extent of plastic pollution collecting on what might be expected to be the pristine beaches of this World Heritage area.
The Arts Response
Featured artist Eveline Kolijn responds to plastic pollution.
Sublime Waste Foam Spill is a creative and stunningly beautiful collection of assorted hand-cut, recycled, Styrofoam clamshell containers and cups, 2011. View the full range of these works – follow the arrow – and be confronted by Evelyn’s challenging use of the fragile forms vital diatoms (plankton) as they emerge from the ubiquitous evidence of polystyrene pollution.
Eveline comments: No known microorganism has yet been shown to biodegrade polystyrene, and it is often abundant as a form of pollution in the outdoor environment, particularly along shores and waterways especially in its low density cellular form. The increasing oil prices have increased the value of polystyrene for recycling.
Eco-artist Chris Jordan – the albatross and plastic pollution
Jenn Laver’s work on the flesh-footed shearwater is echoed by eco-artist Chris Jordan’s powerful expose of plastic pollution in albatross. As a photographer, Chris made his own journey to follow up on such stories, visiting Midway, a mid-way place on a remote and isolated island in the middle of the Pacific, twelve-hundred miles northwest of Hawaii. In a presentation at PopTech 2009, he shares heart-wrenching images of birds that have died from ingesting the plastics that increasingly pollute our oceans.
Marine Scientists confirm they are sampling six times more plastic particles than phytoplankton around the plastic Gyres amassing in the oceans.
Follow Chris as he returns to Midway during 2011 to sensitively encapsulate the beauty and specialness within the pathos of the process emerging in our far away places.