Data Collection

Gumurr Marthakal Rangers identifying nets using the WWF Net Kit. Photo by Jane Dermer.

Data Collection

We have established a strong culture of data collection to ensure that we are building our knowledge on how to best tackle the issues.

To do this we have worked in strong partnership with the CSIRO (2009-2013) and introduced electronic data collection system to ensure that the data collected by rangers is consistent.

Our data often tells two stories, one is of our achievements, the other illuminates the magnitude of the problem:

For example our data shows how hard rangers are working to protect marine life. Almost 300 turtles have been found entangled in the nets, some of which have been able to be rehabilitated back to health and released back into their habitat. These are devastaing figures for our endangered marine life, even more so beacuse we know that many turles perish and decay before the nets wash ashore.

We have used our data to populate a computer model of the oceanic processes in the Gulf of Carpentaria, helping us to determine the movement and source of the nets, being primarily the Arafura Sea.

With the data we have also been able to identify that over 90 percent of the nets are foreign and that most of these nets appear to originate from trawl fishers in the Arafura Sea.

We’re now pursuing opportunities to stem the flow of these nets and change fishing practices in the Arafura Sea. We look forward to sharing more of our achievements with you in the future.

Explore the thumbnails below to learn more about our methods and results.


Transitioning from paper to electronic data surveys has improved the data a hundredfold.

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Kimberley Survey

A survey of the Kimberley coast found little ghost nets but still large amounts of rubbish.

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Past Ranger Work

The valuable contribution of previous ranger activities helps us to understand the full story.

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