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Video: Underwater cleanup in the Noosa River

Last weekend I joined the good people from the Sunshine Coast Diving Club (SCDC), as well as volunteers and staff from the Noosa Integrated Catchment Association (NICA), to help out with an underwater clean up of the Noosa Woods area of the Noosa River.

Being a popular spot with fishermen and a high use area for Biosphere and other community events, combined with floodwater from earlier this year, we expected to find plenty of rubbish. But, we were pleasantly surprised! A chair and a few traffic cones were the only large items we collected. There was plenty of fishing line—the result of snags rather than being discarded. And there was a bit of random litter. We filled a few bags… but, generally, things were looking relatively clean.

The visibility was only 1-2m, which is typical for this semi-enclosed and silty bay. While fish were somewhat difficult to spot, we did see lots of juvenile bream and butterbream, as well as the usual puffers. Encouragingly, there were millions of holes made by yabbies and worms—this indicates the system is in pretty good shape.

I’m looking forward to the next clean up where we will hit another stretch of the Noosa River… probably nearer the mouth where fishing pressure is higher—and visibility and fish life better!

Thanks to Chas, Simmo and Dan from the SCDC for organising the diving; and to Maree, Lidia, Geoff and Dave from NICA for their planning, BBQ, and surface support.

—Josh

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Dianne Kelly

Josh’s presentation at our Noosa area Waterwatch Workshop on the 10 April 2014 focussed on the underwater life and environment near the mouth of the Noosa River. Josh had gathered the information and video footage from 19 dives and his observations over time added authenticity and validity of the reality of the underwater world in that spot. It was a revelation of how sea creatures have adapted and survived over time although they are now unable to manage entanglements in webs of discarded fishing line. Footage of crabs, eels and fish wrapped in line and restricted and wounded slowly dying stays with me. Josh’s ability to free them from the line with the understanding that they can heal and thrive was a good news story and one which begs whole-hearted support.

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