Posted on 17/11/2015 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Students clean up to save marine wildlife

Students from Cowes Primary School, rangers from Phillip Island Nature Parks and the team from Wildlife Coast Cruises joined over 2,000 students and community members right across the state to take part in the annual Seal the Loop Action Day on Friday, November 13.

Now in its third year, the Seal the Loop Action Day, a Zoos Victoria initiative, teaches students about ways they can help protect Victoria’s marine wildlife from common threats such as fishing waste, plastics and debris often found in coastal areas.

Speaking at the Action Day at one of the many sites around the state, Zoos Victoria’s Senior Manager Community Conservation, Emily Dunstan, said it was terrific to see such enthusiasm to protecting marine wildlife and cleaning up Victoria’s coastline.

“Every year thousands of marine animals including seals are hurt or injured due to poorly discarded fishing line and litter,” Ms Dunstan said.

Since the Seal the Loop campaign launched in 2010, it has deployed over 230 specially made bins across Victoria’s coastline and collected over 36 kilometres of fishing line.

Researchers from Phillip Island Nature Parks take regular trips out to Seal Rocks, home to Australia’s largest fur seal colony, and regularly attend to entangled seals. During their last trip in October, researchers managed to save 4 seals which had become entangled in recreational fishing gear.

The 2015 Seal the Loop Action Day involved students from Warrnambool East Primary, Rye Primary, Torquay Primary, Melbourne Girls College, Padua College, Lakes Entrance Primary, Barwon Heads Primary and of course Cowes Primary.