Beneath the pristine shoreline of Sydney’s magnificent harbour city lies a dirty secret of epic proportions. For 20 years, SCUBA divers at Manly Cove and Shelly Beach have been removing rubbish from the sea bed. Through their efforts they have amassed a vast collection of designer sun glasses, smart phones, t-shirts and baseball caps. Among the usual cacophony of coffee cup lids, plastic bags and plastic straws some truly memorable finds include the occasional QANTAS credit card and the sex toys.
Inspired by the efforts of the Ian Kiernan and Clean Up Australia local Manly SCUBA diver Richard Nicholls.
Party balloons are particularly destructive to the marine life. Like plastic bags, balloons mimic jellyfish under the surface and are eaten by unsuspecting sea turtles. Manly cove has long been a safe haven for these majestic creatures. The calm waters promise a refuge from the rough currents beyond the Sydney heads but can instead become a deadly trap for these unsuspecting creatures. Loggerhead turtles regularly wash up on the northern beaches. The problem is so bad that these animals have now reached vulnerable status. Loggerheads can take up to 39 years to reach sexual maturity and sadly they are being killed by ingesting debris before they have had the opportunity to reproduce.