Celebrating World Environment Day

Nature and respect are two words that exist side-by-side when it comes to wildlife observations at TasPorts. With a new observation feature in the reporting suite, we’re strengthening our relationship with the marine environment.


05 June 2023

TasPorts facilities and marine port waters are home to a number of native and introduced wildlife. With an increase in plastic pollution reaching our waterways, we are joining the global effort this World Environment Day to make a difference and look after Tasmania’s unique environment.

This year’s theme for World Environment Day is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. With major projects and initiatives well underway in our ports across the State, it is TasPorts’ duty to ensure that these ambitious plans for growth, are aligned with sustainable practices and decision-making. This extends to the sourcing of materials for our major projects, seeking materials that are produced sustainably and can be disposed of ethically.

Reducing plastic in our environment

As a community, our actions on plastic pollution matter. The way plastics are produced, used and disposed of can greatly reduce the amount of plastic polluting our ecosystems. Today is a reminder that people’s actions on plastic pollution matters.

Here in Tasmania, through groups such as Plastic Free Places and Reth!nk Waste Tasmania, the community can consciously helping to eliminate plastic reaching our land and underwater environments.

Every day our people are on the lookout for ways they can help prevent litter reaching our marine environment, with the installation of rubbish bins with lids to prevent windblown litter, we have also invested in a street cleaner for the Port of Hobart to collect litter that hasn’t made it into the bins. On the ground our people are also collecting litter around our ports daily and through participation in Clean Up Australia Day events and Take 3 for the Sea.

World Environment Day 2023 Plastic Bottle

Plastic and the risks to our marine environment

The most visible impacts of plastic and plastic debris on the marine ecosystem are the ingestion, suffocation and entanglement of marine species. Marine wildlife such as seabirds, whales, dolphins, seals and fish mistake plastic waste for prey. Unfortunately, most then die of starvation as their stomachs become filled with plastic.

Single-use items like plastic cutlery, straws, bottle caps, take-away containers and plastic bags are just some of the many items that get eaten by animals.

As we continue our journey towards plastic-free operations, here are some tips that you can do to reduce the impact of plastics on our environment:

🐟 Purchase a reusable water bottle or thermos for your 'on the go' beverages

🐟 Keep reusable shopping bags on you or in the car

🐟 Buy and store food in reusable or compostable containers

🐟 Choose to refuse plastic straws or use metal or paper alternatives

🐟 Recycle what can't be avoided, make sure plastics are disposed of in the correct bins at home and in public.

Caring for our marine environment

Nature and respect are two words that exist side-by-side when it comes to wildlife observations at TasPorts.

One of things we’re doing to help better inform planning and decision-making is introduce a central wildlife observation system. This new recording system will help us to learn more about the wildlife that lives at, and frequents, our port infrastructure.

Our environment team have been working with our incident and hazard reporting system team (noggin) to introduce a wildlife observation recording feature, allowing our people to easily record wildlife observations, map locations and images.

Our aim is to build a database of our resident (and visiting) wildlife at the ports communities where we operate, with a focus on marine observations. Through our database development, we'll gain a greater understanding of the presence and behaviour of marine wildlife in and around our marine infrastructure.

World Environment Day 2023 Gull

Knowledge is King

The knowledge we are collecting will assist us with our everyday activities and major works at our ports. We'll also be able to monitor trends, habitat use and behaviour, enabling us to identify factors that may influence their survival now and into the future, and where possible, develop effective methods to improve their marine habitat.

As well as protecting our native species, we'll also be able to use our observation database to identify location where invasive species may occur.

Through the implementation of our wildlife observation reporting feature, we hope to strengthen our relationship with our marine environment to safeguard these ecosystems for future generations.

World Environment Day 2023 Seahorse banner

You can find out more information on World Environment Day on the United Nations Environment Program website.