Operation Turbo Reef: Crackdown on Illegal Fishing

Operation Turbo Reef has so far seized 6,251 marine invertebrates and issued $63,000 in fines over the Australia Day long weekend. This initiative of NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Compliance Unit is designed to target illegal shellfish collection in the Sydney metropolitan region. This year, the operation tasked a new mobile squad to specifically target compliance in Intertidal Protected Areas (IPAs) and Aquatic Reserves due to their high community value for biodiversity and as sites for education and research.

Fortunately, of the 6,251 invertebrates collected, including cockles, abalone, turban snails, lobster and octopus, the vast majority were returned to the water alive. It’s urged that the public remain vigilant and report any illegal activity to ensure our coastal ecosystems can continue to flourish.

 

Anyone with information on illegal activity is encouraged to call the Fishers Watch line on 1800 043 536 or lodge a report here.

MEMA : FAQ for Local Government

The Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) has released a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ pamphlet specifically for local governments. The FAQ includes an overview of the Marine Estate Management Strategy as well as providing a guide on how to integrate the strategy with a Coastal Management Program. Finally, a MEMA organisation structure is provided along with key contacts that can assist councils with their CMP integration.

 

The FAQ can be found at the Marine Estate Management Authority website, or alternatively, can be downloaded here.

Climate Change in Estuaries

A multi-disciplinary team led by researchers from UNSW and Macquarie University is releasing the first large-scale summary of how our estuaries – and the 80 per cent of NSW residents living on them – will be impacted by climate change.

The research sets to address the complexity surrounding the assessment of impacts and effects of climate change in estuaries. To do this, researchers have developed a multi-report guide designed for estuarine management, scientists, practitioners and coastal communities.

The guide consists of 8 module reports that cover the relevant climate, ocean and ecosystem science along with best practice frameworks for prioritising climate risks in estuaries. These modules are designed to be read together or independently and are freely available online.

The research was funded under the Coastal Node, an initiative led by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science to improve the knowledge base of impact assessment, risk management and adaptation responses of local communities and councils in the coastal zone.

Further information and links to the modules can be found here.

Beach Pollution Ends Here

Randwick City Council are proud to announce the launch of their new education campaign aimed at reducing storm water pollution and improving the water quality of their waterways and beaches.

The initiative includes a fun and interactive web page which can be found here. Explore the page to find out how you can make a difference and help keep our beaches clean!

Randwick City Council have also produced a series of Youtube videos to show what they’re doing to help improve beach water quality. Be sure to check them out here!

Beach Pollution Cinema advertisement

How Gross Pollutant Traps keep 300 tonnes of rubbish from our beaches each year

How stormwater can be recycled (featuring Tim Silverwood from Take 3 for the Sea)

How Randwick Council cleans our streets and beaches

Data Collection on Flying-Fox Heat Stress

Data is being collected to better understand the impacts of heat-stress on flying-fox species and to build a repository of flying-fox heat stress events.  If you have information on a local flying-fox camp that has been affected by heat-stress (past or present) please complete the Flying-fox heat stress data form developed by Western Sydney University, Melbourne University, CSIRO and Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

2017-18 State of the Beaches Report

The annual State of the Beaches Report 2017/18 has been released by Beachwatch. The State of the Beaches reports on water quality of swimming locations within ocean and harbour beaches across NSW.

According to the NSW News published on 19 October, 85% of the state’s swimming sites have been rated as good or very good for the first time since 2010.

The NSW News provides a summary from the report as follows:

  • 90 per cent of the 97 Sydney region swimming sites tested rated good or very good with improved water quality at seven sites and decreased scores at only four.
  • 78 per cent of the 18 North Coast swimming sites rated good or very good with two downgraded.
  • 84 per cent of the 38 Hunter region swimming sites rated good or very good with improvements at seven sites.
  • 53 per cent of the 32 Central Coast sites rated good or very good – a decline from the previous year due to changes in the monitoring program rather than water quality.
  • 100 per cent of the 21 Illawarra beaches rated good or very good with improved water quality at one beach.
  • 100 per cent of the 35 South Coast region sites rated good or very good with two sites showing decreased water quality.
  • 81% of estuarine swimming sites are listed as goof or very good.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said “while these figures are welcome, they also show there is still work to be done, as according to the report, coastal lakes, lagoons and estuarine swimming spots were adversely affected by heavy rainfall”.

Download a copy of the State of the Beaches Report here.

To read more about the Beachwatch program and to find out about the daily pollution forecasts for your local beach click here.

Get The Site Right Campaign

The Get the Site Right Campaign was launched by the Parramatta River Catchment Group a couple of years ago to raise awareness of the impacts of water pollution /sediments from building sites on the aquatic environment, and increase compliance based building inspections to ensure developers/builders are getting their site right.

During October 2017 and May 2018, the Sydney Coastal Councils Group partnered with the Parramatta River Catchment Group, Cooks River Alliance, Georges River Combined Councils Committee, NSW EPA and Department of Environment and Planning on the Get the Site Right Campaign.

To view the Get the Site Right Campaign video click here.

To view the Get the Site Right webinar on what to look for when assessing soil erosion and sediment control measures click here.