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Boats Tie Up for a Clean-Up

Boats Tie Up for a Clean-Up

by November 15, 2015

Through The Porthole


ABOUT THE PHOTO: This was our first official dive clean-up event held on 5 July 2015. The boats arrived at 8:00 in the morning, and tied up together, waiting for the divers.

I posted on Facebook an image of a dead turtle caught in fishing lines. The response from the people is what caused me to organise the event. So many people felt a need to right a wrong situation. Fishermen are not always aware of the fishing lines they leave behind. So, divers, fishermen, boaties, and people who don’t have any marine interests all felt a need to help and do something. This was an ideal opportunity to promote community action and discourage the mentality that we need to make money out of every situation.

There have been two clean-up events conducted and both have been very successful. In total, over 40 km of fishing lines were removed. There are still more than 400 km of fishing lines to be removed, which will take at least 10 more clean-up events to achieve.

The opportunity for people to bond together and be part of something worthwhile was of highest priority. All who took part were volunteers, helping in any way they could. Any funded groups would require a lot of administration and regulation, but this is purely community volunteering—community spirit at its best.

ian banks turtle gold coast

How many boats have been involved?

A total of 30 boats have been of assistance in the two clean-up events we have organised. 

The boats are used to transport divers and moor up, and some are used as service boats that assist in relaying anything needed from the barge to the moored boats—food, drinks, rubbish, etc. Other boats assist in patrols or standby tasks.

How do you organise to clean the area?

I have made up a grid using cable and labelled every 25 metres along the grid so that divers know where they are on the seaway wall. In this way, they are able to target certain areas. It also prevents areas already cleaned from being redone. Buoys are set up and are assigned to the volunteer boats to tie up.

Why is this clean-up important?

The clean-up is important because large amounts of fishing lines have become snagged on the rocks and the exposed hooks are snaring all sorts of marine life, such as the turtle that drowned.

What types of rubbish do you find?

We are targeting fishing line, hooks, lures, sinkers and crab pots.

The debris collected is taken to a sorting area in Doug Jennings Park and sorted to be recorded for scientific surveys. It is then placed in the skip bins.

When is the next clean up?

The next clean-up event will be 15 November 2015. Boaties are encouraged to assist in the community activity so the boats can be used for transport, service or patrols, or simply to join in the fun.


Jason Keily is a local pharmacy owner who was born and bred on the Gold Coast. Jason has been a hobby photographer for 10 years, and enjoys landscape and portrait photography. He is currently using a Nikon D800E as his primary DSLR.  Jason is an experienced diver. He is the proud owner of a Barcrusher 670c, and uses it extensively for fishing, diving, and as a family runabout.


Words by Ian Banks, Diving the Gold Coast