Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mariners and Masters: DVD about Australia for your information


WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA, protecting our marine environment

The Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) has marked World Maritime Day 24 Sept 2009 by announcing the launch of the 2nd edition of its seafarer educational DVD, Welcome to Australia protecting our marine environment.

The DVD describes the importance of Australia’s unique marine environment and reminds ship masters and their crews of their obligations under The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

The DVD was jointly produced by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and AUSMEPA. A copy of the DVD will be placed on every ship, when it first arrives in Australia, by its agent. Supplies of the DVD will be available through the Australian Shipowners Association (ASA) and Shipping Australia Ltd. (SAL) and in selected ports from the Apostleship of the Sea’s Stella Maris Seafarer Centres.

The English version (one of seven language variations of the DVD) can be viewed on the AUSMEPA website by following this link

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Giant Cuttlefish

Why do the big cuttles like South Australia so much? For more info have a look at this Catalyst article.

The narration begins..."At first glance, this rocky coastline in South Australia doesn’t look all that special. Fringed by gas refineries, lead smelters, and steel works, it’s more industrial landscape than pristine wilderness. Perched at the top of the Spencer Gulf, even its name - Point Lowly - doesn’t hold much promise.But in the eyes of the giant Australian cuttlefish, there is nowhere else on the planet to be."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery, education and research

The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre is set to host both scientists and students at its soon to be ready purpose built marine science laboratory funded through a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation.

The laboratory will be situated adjacent to the Marine Discovery Centre and will have a viewing window so that visitors to the Centre will have the opportunity to watch research activities as they happen. Completion of the lab will be February 2010.


Ocean Literacy is a term nominated a few years ago to attempt to describe what people need to know about the sea, in particular teachers and students. As a US designed education project it has a perspective based on education principles in the USA however there has been a real effort to have a balanced yet comprehensive outline for anyone. It is presented on the College of Exploration website

Topics start with several knowledge areas then unfold into stepped themes for each age level. Never mind teaching the kids, it's even great for teachers and the community to understand better how the ocean is so connected to us and to all we do

Here you can not only find a dissection of what you need to know and teach about the sea but discover utube gems like Dr Sylvia Earle's clip on our own Great Barrier Reef and several other really interesting shorts about science and the sea.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Deadly Seaweed in Europe Could Be Just a Warning to Australians

Recent reports of death and human health concerns from France and England revolve around the humble Sea Lettuce or Ulva sp. It appears that high growth of the common algae has resulted in the cyclic die-off forming mounds of decaying weed along some shorelines. As the weed dries up it forms a white crust sealing in the gases produced as a result of decomposition. When the crust is broken highly concentrated gasses are released where the foot falls.

These high growth events are not known yet in Australia but wherever stormwater run-off carries high nutrients from the drains, creeks and rivers to shallow coastal waters Ulva becomes more prolific.

AUSMEPA and it's other Education Partners in Australia are working to educate about what stormwater brings with it and how we can change our own contribution to the problem. Learn more at

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Marine pests; finding a use for them?

This news article highlights how some think that marine pests (N Pacific Seastars) may be put to good use by harvesting for use in pharmaceuticals.

Free tips for education around marine pests can be found on units of work in AUSMEPA's Pests and Threats unit

Friday, September 4, 2009

IPMEN -- Marine knowledge in the Pacific Basin

Do you want to know what other people know? You may be interested that there is a network of teachers and scientists across the Pacific and beyond called the International Pacific Marine Educators Network (IPMEN). If you wish to listen to more whispers of that ocean network you might like to join their listserve by emailing Judy Lemus

i sea, i care

The Dolphin Research Institute has been a flagship for cleaner seas education in Port Phillip and Western Port, Victoria, Australia.

Their student ambassador program "i sea, i care" has shown itself to be a perfect example of how to look for and find partners committed to finding science and education solutions for healthy ocean outcomes. AUSMEPA solutes them.

If you've got an innovative way to encourage integration of marine conservation education into schools or communities share it with us.

Thursday, September 3, 2009