Toxic tides: the rubbish washing up in East Arnhem Land


ONE (sic) A LONESOME, seemingly infinite stretch of shoreline more than 100km away from any significant outpost, two Aboriginal rangers trawl through a pile of . Other than their own footprints, the only obvious signs of life the Yirralka rangers see are a sun-bleached kangaroo skull, crabs, hawks, and the occasional pile of buffalo droppings.

But at this Yolngu-owned area of East Arnhem Land, on the Northern Territory edge of the , something is significantly wrong. The beach is far from untouched. It’s littered with thousands of multicoloured nets, ropes, thongs, wrappers and bottles.

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