ABFC Ocean Shield cleans up

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    In between its duties helping to ensure civil maritime security in Australia’s northern waters, the Australian Border Force Cutter (ABFC) Ocean Shield is also doing its bit to protect the maritime environment.

    Unfortunately the remote Indian Ocean domain around Cocos (Keeling) Islands is not immune to the scourge of global marine pollution.

    Under the command of Acting Superintendent Kyle Marks, 17 crew members from ABFC Ocean Shield recently went ashore to the uninhabited Horsburgh Island to collect plastic and other debris.

    “In three hours the crew collected nearly six cubic metres of plastic and other rubbish from just 300 metres of shoreline,” A/Superintendent Marks said.

    “The crew involved in the beach clean-up did a great job, and as there is plastic continuously washing ashore on these remote islands, the importance of these marine taskings cannot be understated.”

    The rubbish was taken back aboard the ship and destroyed in the incinerator.

    “It’s probably not well known that part of the ABFC Ocean Shield’stasking is to monitor the wellbeing of Australia’s vast maritime environment in which she patrols,” A/Superintendent Marks said.

    “It’s a sad testament to the state of all our oceans that islands this remote are still impacted by marine pollution.

    “Marine creatures, particularly turtles and sea birds, are most vulnerable to plastic through ingestion.”

    The ABF is committed to playing its part in the environmental protection of Australia’s Maritime zones.

    Source: Australian Border Force