15 January 2009

Manly Beach Drift 'wood' - January

A monthly summary of what has washed onto the shore or beach through the winds, tides, waves or human action. Marine debris, flora and fauna, dead or alive:

Each day washes another type of jelly fish up, today bluebottles, yesterday a mysterious 2 cm 'button' with a dark blue short fringe. The entire beach filled with them. The day before, transluscent blobs. Heating up the ocean, turning it into an acid brew and eradicating the predators of jellyfish (Sunfish, turtle etc) will produce an ever denser 'bloom' of more or less stinging jellies to wade and 'swim' in.

Many different types of kelp in beautiful shapes. A living hermit crab (Pagurus sinuatus) walking about in a big shell. One cuttlefish whole and the other with arms and tentacles cut off, cooking on the sand. 'Cheap bait'? Desperate fishing people swish nets of stinking fishheads on the sand, maybe to attract sharks? An abundance of fishing junk all along, reels, nylon etc.

At the pipes of sub-urban eutrophication lingers a mysterious smell. Intertidal critters do their best to coat the pipe. Terns love the safety of the tall signs. Real driftwood, washed in by the king tide.

The human contribution: Smoking all over the beach, toxic butts in the surf. Large groups of young people all with unprotected heads in the water and on the beach. Their coaches and carers are well covered from uv radiation.
On the sand and in the surf, the smell and sound of petrol racing. Roaring, smelly boats in 'operational areas', getting close to bodies in the surf. Buggies racing along the sand, without an apparent urgency for speed. One day it will be termed an 'accident'.
Commercial speed boats spin right into the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, depriving the marine fauna of a safe habitat. Swimmers and divers are in great danger form aquatic 'wheelies'. The airspace also has more frequent hovering of helicopters, private and commercial 'joy flights'.

On the litter front, the usual 'one mouthful' wrappers and containers, many balloons, gift wrapping and other marine debris on the shore line.

Denise Ellis Kelly pointed out how a speeding motor had killed a Little Penguin. She also mentioned how the shark net tangled and drowned a dolphin at xmas. (Manly Daily, 140109, p. 22) This is probably just the visible 'tip of an iceberg'. The motor boat and living body interface is as deadly and polluting as terestial traffic. Ban, reduce and lower speed. Motorised lifesavers' high speed is only warranted if life is in danger.

Aerial plastic tangle in the form of kites, string and balloons are left in the tall pines for animals to get entangled in.

The extreme light pollution along the beach from North Steyne Club to Queenscliff pool is an “ecological trap” for wildlife and a blinding nuisance for people. One light bellows out CO2 pollution during the day as well. What a waste.

150109 Image 2 & 4 :Penguin art exhibition by children in the Manly Library. "Boats can hurt penguins. Slow down!"

A moray eel washed up, strangled by fishing line right behind the neck. Another inhabitat of the Cabbage Bay Marine Reserve reef became victim of fishing by-kill.
More Crested Terns (Sterna bergii) indicating heat to come.

The daily junkspace: unwanted flimsy plastic sun tents, generously left behind when broken down after a low usage rate. Large sheets of plastic tarp and the usual unwanted plastic bits.

On the beach walkway - many cars, unloading their commercial loads for the day. The council “green machine” billowing black smoke, repelling people from using the beach parade. The noise and pollution impact on beach users from driving on pedestrian paths is considerable. Operators stop for long periods to engage in long 'ride on conversations' – all with running motors of course, as it is customary in CO2 belching hot Australia. The accumulated fumes from the diesel-intensive mechanical sweeping and the decibel pollution drives people from the public space which is apparently being 'cleaned' for them. 220109Another large dead moray eel with a tumor/growth? on the side of its body. A dead frog and many blue bottles. A hot ocean and the feeling of desertification racing. Despite it all, SUVs and airconditioners are pumping up the Hot Planet. 300109

1 comment:

Penelope said...

There are blue jellyfish?