Oyster farmers find tonnes of trash in tricky spots

Oyster Farmers from four estuaries, Wapengo, Merimbula, Pambula and Wonboyn have done their bit for keeping the waterways free of marine debris and general rubbish.

Farmers volunteer their time on Clean up Australia Day each year as part of their commitment to their Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

EMS are action plans for how farmers can improve their industry's sustainability and ensue the estuaries they work in remain healthy in partnership with others.

In some cases, they banded together with other keen community groups such as the Wonboyn Rate Payers Association.

EMS Coordinator Jillian Keating of Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters (SCWO) said, "It's amazing what gets washed up and lodged behind the mangroves and amongst the saltmarsh on our estuary foreshores." 

"The oyster farmers are able to use their punts to access some very tricky spots up the back of estuaries, this year they pulled out old tyres, pipes, signs, pieces of plastic and takeaway containers," she said. 

"One year they even pulled out an old couch from the bottom of Merimbula Lake!"

One disappointing discovery made by a farmer this year was a large number of dog poo bags on the Merimbula Boardwalk which have the potential to wash into the lake and pollute the water.