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Friday, December 19, 2014

VNPA Reef Watch; inspiring volunteers

Over the last 12 years Wendy Roberts has been the primary liaison for the Victorian National Parks Association’s Reef Watch program. Although she is moving on she recently reflected on "a wonderful journey, filled with incredible discoveries" by volunteers surveying their local reefs along Victoria's coastline. Wendy has been an inspiration to volunteers wanting to get their hands wet and an invaluable resource for the wider community and we wish her well into the future. 
Some of the accomplishments during her tenure?
  • More than 24,000 species records from 126 locations, which, with the assistance of Museum Victoria, being uploaded to the CSIRO’s Atlas of Living Australia database.  
  • The successful running of ten Great Victorian Fish Counts involving hundreds of divers across the state that helped build greater awareness of our precious temperate marine species and reef habitats (a report will be completed in 2015).
  • The confirmation of the Western Blue Groper in Victorian waters and the ultimate protection of both species.
  • Two Victorian Coastal Council Awards for Innovation and Education.
  • Successful partnerships with Museum Victoria, Parks Victoria, Port Phillip and Westernport CMA, Coastcare, Melbourne Aquarium and the diving industry, all of which supported and enriched the program immensely.
Is it time for you to join in the fun and discovery of citizen science in your neighbourhood? There are many volunteer programs that make an incredible difference to our body of knowledge and Reef Watch is one of them.
Reef Watch Victoria

Reef Watch is also active in South Australia

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ocean Spiral; can we live under the sea?

Shimizu Corp is a company that is planning for the future and it is looking to the ocean floor. They are visualising people living in an eco-friendly undersea city within 15 yrs while capitalising on the 'infinite possibilities of the deep sea'.

The city would consist of a floating sphere (500 metres in diameter) just under the surface, housing business and residential zones and hotels. The structure would connected to the seabed 3-4km below by a spiral pathway. Energy resources at the seabed will bring the three section of the city to life using ocean thermal energy conversion .

More information at these websites for further artist rendering

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sustainable Seafood Guide, do you have yours yet?

Aussies, you can get an app for your phone here

The Monterey Aquarium has developed this great video clip about sustainable seafood and also have a phone app suitable for the northern hemisphere.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Species on the Move International Conference

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

9 - 12 February 2016

The global redistribution of our planets’ species is widely recognised as a fingerprint of climate change, however, the mechanisms that underpin such range shifts are poorly understood. Additionally, the pervasiveness of range shifts, from poles to the equator, and depths of oceans to tops of mountains, provides us with unique opportunity to advance our theory of biogeography, evolutionary ecology and macroecology.
Our move into the ‘anthropocene’ allows unprecedented opportunity to understand the mechanisms that drive species distributions across ecosystems and address the fundamental tenet of ecology: what lives where and why?  However, such dramatic changes also pose significant challenges for sustainable management of our natural resources.
We see this conference targeting scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.
Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference would develop connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.
If you or your organisation/society would like to help shape this exciting conference, please contact Dr Gretta Pecl ( or Professor Stephen Williams ( for more information.
We would welcome suggestions for theme areas, Steering Committee members, Theme Organisers, Session Chairs and Plenary Speakers.
Dr Gretta Pecl & Professor Stephen Williams
Conference Co-Convenors

Sunday, October 5, 2014

illUmiNations: Protecting our Planet Projecting Change

From Oceanic Preservation Society on Vimeo.


Indo Pacific Marine Discovery Centre

AUSMEPA friend, Tony Isaacson of DiveCareDare,
recently visited the Indo Pacific
Marine Discovery Centres are dotted around the Australian Coastline. 

Some are situated in schools or associated with research institutes or state fisheries science facilities and even private Eco tourism. 

If you are lucky enough to head to the Northern Territory the Marine Discovery Centre provides a map to help kids point their parents in the right direction. At the Centre you can learn about the beautiful and bizzare inhabitants of local Darwin marine environments.

Below find information about this northern Australian Marine Discovery Centre taken from their website:
You won't know, if you don't go!

Indo Pacific Marine Discovery Centre began in 1971 as a privately funded project to collect and establish onshore marine ecosystems highlighting the unique features of the coral reefs which abound in Darwin waters. Very little was known of this underwater "wildlife" at that time, or that it even existed.
A property was bought and renovated to house the first exhibition of its kind in the world but all was wiped out by Cyclone Tracy in 1974, only ten days after its official opening. The long process of rebuilding and re-establishment of the displays started immediately, but it was not until 1977 that Indo pacific Marine reopened.  Since then it has relocated twice to progressively larger and improved premises as public demand increased for this facility.
Indo Pacific Marine is the longest established man made tourism facility in the Northern Territory, and has received industry recognition for excellence over many years.

The exhibition is unique in the fact that because this is a land based living marine centre where each system is totally self supporting
– no feeding, filtration or water changing
– visitors, regardless of their age, health or financial constraints, are able to experience, learn and marvel under expert guidance and in full safety, the beauty of the marine environment, which is considered to be the most beautiful, fragile, yet potentially dangerous environment on earth.
Most importantly, this experience taken place without any impact on the natural environment, no damage to a fragile world by reef walking at low tide or other group activities often associated with marine tours.
As the marine displays are contained eco systems, rare and unusual species can be observed far more easily than would ever be the case on a dive in the open sea, even for skilled SCUBA divers.

Indo Pacific Marine also features unique night tours of the reef. Yet again, this all happens indoors where each visitor is supplied with a torch to observe the nocturnal world of the reef environment, and this can include corals spawning or fluorescing in a spectacular display of light. For an even more close-up experience, magnifying sheets are placed against the glass walls of the displays to observe minute organisms as they go about their business, as they would in an ocean environment.

Because the evening tours also include a seafood dinner, it is a complete event, involving education, entertainment, relaxation and the experience of our superb NT cuisine served either in house or on our Ocean Courtyard overlooking Darwin Harbour.