Oz scientists studying marine debris barcode

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 09:28

Melbourne: Australian scientists are
analysing bar-codes on items of marine debris in an effort
to trace the origin of products washing up on the shore.

Experts are studying the country`s 35,000 km coastline
to measure the affect of rubbish on marine ecosystem and the
team is currently at Sydney`s Shelly Beach, a popular
surf break known for its clean waves.

CSIRO researcher Denise Hardesty, who heads the project,
said scientists are using the Shelly Beach waterfront near
Manly to get a snapshot of Sydney`s beach-side pollution, it
said.

"This is a beach that`s cleaned every day by the local
council and I have walked along and I am still finding lots of
small bits of hard plastic and soft plastic and bright colours
and white," she said, adding the team will thereafter head
100 km south to carry out the next survey.

Hardesty said the scientists were noting the bar-codes
on any bottles or litter they find.

"You can actually use the bar-code to backtrack to
figure out where something was actually manufactured and
boxed, sold, moved and transported so that we can actually
understand where we`re losing things along the way," she said.

The research started at Cape Tribulation, in north
Queensland, a couple of months ago and will see the team
combing beaches around the country, ABC said in the report.

"On this particular leg of the journey we will be ending
in Melbourne in about seven or 10 days` time and then in
February we will start up again and going from Melbourne on
over to Esperance and then we are going to be heading up the
Kimberley and going all the way around up to Darwin," Hardesty
added.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 09:28

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