Tragedy sparks clean-up

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - NEWS - Lau­ren Pi­lat

THE hor­rific ex­pe­ri­ence of wit­ness­ing a duck stran­gled to death by a plas­tic ring at the South Perth fore­shore led Veron­ica McPhail to take ac­tion.

The am­a­teur pho­tog­ra­pher was tak­ing pic­tures at the fore­shore last month when she re­alised one of the blue-billed ducks she cap­tured on cam­era had a plas­tic ring with a hook caught around its neck.

Ms McPhail rushed back to the river with a friend from BirdLife WA to res­cue the duck but it had died by the time they got there.

“I was hor­ri­fied,” she said. “One of the neigh­bours, who lived nearby, waded in the wa­ter to get the dead bird out so we could make sure what it ac­tu­ally was around its neck.

“Un­for­tu­nately, down at the river it’s quite com­mon prac­tice to see things like that.

“It’s very sad be­cause the lakes on the fore­shore are team­ing with wildlife, but un­for­tu­nately peo­ple pic­nic there too and leave rub­bish be­hind.”

The Kens­ing­ton res­i­dent, who re­cently hol­i­dayed in the north of Eng­land, said she had seen a ‘2 Minute Beach Clean’ board de­signed to prompt peo­ple to pick up lit­ter along the wa­ter­ways.

Ms McPhail said there was a huge move­ment in the UK, with 460 boards along the coast­line and in Ire­land where rub­bish bags and grabbers were avail­able for pub­lic use.

With the idea of bring­ing the move­ment to Perth, Ms McPhail part­nered with Ja­son Men­zies from River Guardians to place a ‘Clean our Rivers’ board at Fun­cats Wa­ter­sports near the Coode Street Jetty.

“It is a very sim­ple con­cept and al­lows for spon­tane­ity; any­body at any time can carry out a lit­ter pick-up,” she said. “It’s an al­ter­na­tive way to pick­ing up lit­ter, not a re­place­ment for or­gan­ised clean-ups.

“Hope­fully it will be some­thing that peo­ple will re­visit and ap­ply the prin­ci­ples else­where – mak­ing a dif­fer­ence two min­utes at a time.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d487323

Clean-up lit­ter no­tice: Birdlife WA’s Les­ley Ma­cauley with River Guardians, man­ager Ja­son Men­zies, res­i­dent Veron­ica McPhail, City of Perth nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment of­fi­cer Kaija An­tipas and An­drew and Jane Partington, the own­ers of Fun­cat Wa­ter­sports.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.