Untrashing Tiwi Islands

Friday, 15 Sep, 2023

In July, Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris team headed to the remote Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory to conduct our first clean-up of the area in partnership with the Tiwi Rangers. 

Sea Shepherd Australia volunteers. Image: Brodie Webb

Located North of Darwin in the Northern Territory and spanning 8,000 square-kilometers, the Tiwi Islands are a biodiverse haven, home to an incredibly diverse range of marine and land-dwelling species. The Tiwi people have held unbroken ownership and occupation of the islands for many thousands of years, meaning the islands have huge cultural significance.  

Unfortunately, much like other remote spaces, the Tiwi Islands face the threat of plastic pollution, most of which washes in on the tide.

Removing fishing rope. Image: Brodie Webb
Volunteers and Tiwi Rangers. Image: Brodie Webb
Bags of debris. Image: Brodie Webb
A hot spot for washed up trash. Image: Brodie Webb
Fishing rope. Image: Brodie Webb
Plastic on the beach. Image: Brodie Webb
Plastic on the beach. Image: Brodie Webb

The team of eight Sea Shepherd volunteers and Tiwi Rangers spent two days cleaning up the area, removing 12,800 pieces of trash along the coastline, providing immediate relief to the marine life who call the area home. 

“We cleaned up a beach that was a nesting area for Olive Ridley turtles, so every morning we would see fresh turtle tracks on the beach. Unfortunately, we were also finding plastic in their nests. It’s a powerful feeling for the team, to know that by removing this plastic we are having an immediate impact on these turtles.”

Grahame Lloyd, Remote Marine Debris Coordinator
Image: Brodie Webb

These collaborations and clean-ups are vital in the work we do at Sea Shepherd Australia. Working together, on Country, with traditional owners and local rangers to protect these precious spaces. 


Our Sea Shepherd Australia Marine Debris team are working on plans to return next year, to provide further relief to marine life and habitats. 


If you want to help clean-up our beaches, join a local clean-up in your area!

Share this

Related Stories

Thank you. Please consider sharing with your family and friends to help save more marine lives!