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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Precious Water

In the images from outer space blue oceans cover nearly three quarters of the surface of the earth. All but 3% of the water is salty. Most of our fresh water is locked in polar ice!

In understanding the water cycle we can see that evaporation is constantly drawing water up from the oceans into the atmosphere and eventually precipitating back down to earth as rain.
The rain refreshes and cleans the land as it washes down into the receiving waters. The run-off provides us with renewed fresh water in our streams, rivers, lakes and can help to refill our underground aquifers. Water always seeks it's own level, eventually finding it's way back to the sea again.

In the illustration to the left you can see all of the surface water rolled up into a ball on top of the mass of the planet.

Just to the right there is a much smaller blue ball that represents available fresh water. That tiny blue ball is our most precious resource!

Ports Australia Biennial Conference 21-24 October 2014

The next Ports Australia Biennial Conference which will be held in Perth is now less than 2 months away.

The Ports Australia 2014 Conference will be convened at the Pan Pacific Perth. The Conference will commence with a welcoming function for delegates on the evening of Tuesday, 21 October and the Conference itself will be held on Wednesday, 22 and Thursday, 23 October with a port tour on Friday, 24 October.

Following on from the 2012 Adelaide Conference the 2014 Conference will continue the tradition of providing quality sessions and functions.  Also in keeping with established practice we will be gearing the Conference to provide value to Delegates with sessions addressing strategic issues of interest to ports and port business decision makers.

Please reserve these dates. This is an opportunity to be part of the premier national ports conference which attracts CEOs, senior management teams, and board members from the entire Australian ports community, as well as senior managers from our regulatory agencies and other port stakeholders including stevedoring, shipping, towage and other service providers.

For enquiries please contact David Anderson, Susan Fryda-Blackwell or Wilma Kippers at Ports Australia on 02 9247 7581.

Level 16, 1 York St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone 02 9247 7581 | Fax 02 9247 7585
Email | Web

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CSIRO; tagging a white shark

CSIRO are a truly wonderful Australian science research resource. Key result areas stretch across a wide spectrum and when it comes to the mysteries of the ocean they dive deep. They also help to educate the public.

CoralWatch Professional Development Workshops 3-6 October 2014 .

Learn more about coral reef ecology, reef health and the importance of reef conservation. Receive tools and knowledge to engage your students in a global reef monitoring program.

-          3-6 October 2014 - 'Caring for Corals' at Heron Island for senior science, marine & geography teachers

-          22 October 2014 – ‘Corals at Your Doorstep’ at Wellington Point for primary school teachers focusing on grade 4-7

Both workshops include practical, classroom & field activities. Registration costs include a range of take-home materials.

Download the EOI and register your interest today or contact CoralWatch to find out more: or email

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CSIRO report on Lionfish

CSIRO Double Helix is a fantastic site for students and teacher interested in how things work.  One recent article describes Lionfish hunting strategies including invisibility tactics.

Lionfish hunting party

Lionfish wave their big side fins before a group hunt.
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Jens Petersen
In the warm tropical ocean around the Great Barrier Reef, the lionfish hunts. Venomous fins fan out to trap a school of smaller fish. The little fish look for an escape. But this lionfish is not hunting alone.
As we grow up, we learn to share, take turns and cooperate. Now it seems lionfish use the same skills for a more deadly purpose. New research shows lionfish hunt better when they cooperate with other lionfish, and that they share the meal evenly.
Lionfish are predators and use their long, stripy fins to corner prey. 
Click here to see more
Enjoy the adventures of Ed the Bear and his partner, Steve Savage, at a beautiful shingled salt marsh in Shoreham, UK (below). Like saltmarshes in Australia the hardy plants that live there can have stunning colours as well as providing essential environmental services for us.

You can view many more of our friend Ed's adventures at

Shoreham Beach

Hi All

Today I took Abby to my beach at Shoreham. I explained that the beach was a nature reserve because of the rare vegetated shingle habitat – special plants that grow in the pebbles. They can survive with little water, no soil and survive the strong winds, hot sun and salty sea spray.

Although Steve and the nature reserve team help to look after the plants and wildlife, they were concerned about how global issues such as climate change, sea level rise, increase in storms and other issues might affect this beach. This is why I started my global travels to visit scientists to find out what they know about the ocean and the damage humans are doing to the ocean. 

Off to Dungeness tomorrow to show Abby where some of the beach shingle travels to because of the sea and wave action. Sea defenses stop some the shingle moving so the beach doesn't get washed away

Monday, June 30, 2014

Marine debris collection: TomSea

There are lots of ways to do marine debris collection and we will highlight these from time to time. This clip demonstrates the one that TomSea have developed.