Sunday, November 27, 2011

AUSMEPA eNewsletter Spring 2011

Spring is an exciting time and this issue of AUSMEPA E-News has some of very special items for teachers.

NOW OPEN - Rhondda Alexander Memorial Education Grant 2012 

Following Rhondda Alexander's tragic death in July 2010, the Australian Marine Environmental Protection Association (AUSMEPA) Board agreed to establish a memorial to Rhondda in the form of an annual Grant.  AUSMEPA is proud to announce the second round of grant nominations is now open. We invite schools around Australia to submit applications. The 2012 closing date for applications will be in midway through Term 1, and received by close of business Thursday 1st of March.

To find our more about the grant please visit our website here and to request an application form please email


Executive Director of AUSMEPA, Mr. Michael Julian said today how pleased he was to announce the release of the latest free educational resource about investigating rockpools, which is available to schools from the AUSMEPA  
To see the full media release click here


At AUSMEPA's 10th AGM on 21 October, members re-elected Captain Conrad Saldanha (Origin Energy) as the Chairman and  also re-elected the same Board as for last year, namely Warwick Norman (RightShip) as Deputy Chairman, Karen Shaw (ASA) as Treasurer, Jim Huggett (MSQ) as Secretary, Michael Julian as Executive Director, and Kerry Dwyer, Ben Burns (SVITZER Australia) and Toby Stone (AMSA) as Board Members.

At the following Board and Advisory Committee meeting the budget for 2011/2012 was approved as was the recommendation to establish two working groups to develop  a three year strategic plan for AUSMEPA, covering its marine environment educational services to schools and seafarers. The AUSMEPA Board is keen to provide more information and marine environmental training services to seafarers. The Board also set up a small group to fully evaluate and assess the nominations for the AUSMEPA Environmental Award 2011/2012, which it will announce before the end of the year.

AUSMEPA is very pleased to welcome Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics as a new Gold Sponsor and looks forward to a strong partnership with them. To find out more about this major international shipping company which is one of the world's leaders in operating their ships in a very 'environmentally friendly' way see their website 


Great education resources at Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)  
The trouble with acronyms is that you may find more than one. When doing an internet search on AMSA you may just turn up the Australian Marine Sciences Association rather than the national government authority, Australian Maritime Safety Authority. The Authority has some interesting and fun resources for both kids and teachers.

AMSA have several resources one is a page for kids here

Teachers page here

Fact Sheets

·   Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas [PDF Icon PDF: 171Kb]


Find links to the latest Ocean Whispers articles below

Media releases:

Conservation action:

·   Wetland Info


See also Investigating Rockpools here

Grants and awards:

Shipping news:

Ocean and animals:

·   Investigating Rockpools       

Organisations and events:


·   STAVCON –  La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC. 28 & 29 Nov 2011
·   World Oceans Summit Capella Singapore 22-24 Feb 2012

If you've been involved in something that helps keep our oceans healthy feel free to send an article and photo to so that we can help celebrate with you.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ECOLOGY SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA: Wildlife photography competition

This stunning photo was taken by AUSMEPA friend, Richard Whylie. It was a winning entry in the Ecology Society of Australia's photography competition for the Bizzare and Beautiful.

You can view other submissions at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Marine Photobank is an excellent site for those of us who don't have a good selection of photos depicting marine issues and might need them for educational purposes. "The Marine Photobank, a program of SeaWeb, advances ocean conservation by collecting and providing compelling, high-quality marine photos, images and graphics at no cost for non-commercial use as well as for media use under special terms. The Marine Photobank aims to illuminate through photographic imagery pressing marine issues and human-related impacts on the ocean."

Sharks Highlighted in Winning Photograph
WASHINGTON, DC—SeaWeb’s Marine Photobank today announced the winners of the fourth annual Ocean in Focus conservation photography contest. Photographers from around the world submitted their most compelling images illustrating human impacts on marine ecosystems, as well as images that inspire hope for ocean health. The Ocean in Focus grand prize is awarded to Terry Goss, of San Francisco, California, for his photograph of a blue shark off the coast of Rhode Island with a rusted hook protruding from its lower jaw. 

 "Photography is an impactful storytelling tool to illuminate and connect viewers with issues that are difficult to envision, such as those beneath the ocean's surface," said Dawn M. Martin, President of SeaWeb. “The Ocean in Focus contest enables people to see the impacts of their everyday life on the ocean, and inspire positive interaction with this life-giving resource.”

The steel circle hook with heavy monofilament line shown in the winning image is from a longline fishing vessel. Longline fishing can result in the bycatch of non-target species such as sharks, turtles and seabirds. While the introduction of circle hooks, like the one shown in the photo, has reduced the incidence of bycatch, it is still imperfect. In a recent study, Ward et al. (2008)* found that replacing wire leaders (such as the one in the image) with monofilament line increased the catchability of target species while decreasing shark catch rates by 58%. The issue of protecting sharks, an apex predator of the ocean, has been garnering support this year in the media due to governmental actions taken by several state and national governments, particularly around shark finning.

“It’s hard to easily understand that ocean health is critical for our survival.  Photographs can create an indelible impression which touches the heart as well as the brain and helps us seek the understanding we need,” Sven-Olof  Lindblad, founder of Lindblad Expeditions.
The runner-up for the Ocean in Focus contest is Peri Paleracio of Quezon City, the Philippines, for his picture of a boat in the Philippines with plastic and trash pollution suspended in the water. This over-under shot illustrates the often-unseen view of the impact of littering on the ocean. 

Marine debris, especially plastic, is a major issue in the ocean for myriad reasons. Seabirds commonly ingest plastics and feed them to their young, mistaking the debris for food, which may result in injury or death due to starvation, malnutrition and entanglement, among other impacts. This is also a serious problem for many fish species and baleen whales, which consume plastics and introduce harmful toxins into the food chain. Virtually all plastic that has been produced to date still exists in some form due to its long decomposition rate.

Winning images and other submissions for the 2011 contest can be viewed at and downloaded from the Marine Photobank for free non-commercial, educational use by conservationists, teachers, researchers, students, and in some cases, the media, to enlighten others and raise awareness around the threats facing the ocean all over the planet. 

SeaWeb is an international, nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to using the science of communications to transform people’s relationship with the ocean.  

Teachers:  The Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) provides several topics from Marine Pests and Threats to Marine Stormwater Pollution. Free online teaching units here

Let's all get Ocean Literate!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sanctuary Harvest of Invasive Marine Pest Undaria,

One of the interesting things about wild places is the capacity of non-native species to intrude and take over from native species and Port Phillip has a long list. One of the more recent is the kelp Undaria.

Marine Care Ricketts Point is a  friends group associated with a small Marine Sanctuary at Ricketts Point on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, The group has demonstrated outstanding community leadership and has been influential both socially and environmentally in protecting it  through a range of activities. 

Recently the group conducted a successful Undaria Harvest. Because of the nature of Undaria it is particularly difficult to eradicate.The basic strategy was to harvest the high profile reefs areas and a small buffer area surrounding them.

The density of the infestation made the effort very labour intensive however it also yielded information on what harvesting methods proved more efficient. The effort didn't free the Sanctuary of Undaria but it did free up some significant areas for natives to re-establish.

If your community group is interested in marine park stewardship you might like to take a look at the Marine Care Ricketts Point website here for some great ideas.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Dear executive,How can the economic potential of the oceans be realised in a sustainable way? Is there a broader "corporate oceans responsibility" that makes sense for business? Could new governance frameworks deliver better results for the oceans? What are the new solutions for fishing? How can business take the lead in reducing our carbon footprint in the oceans?
The Economist is convening the World Oceans Summit on February 22nd-24th 2012 in Singapore, for a robust and unsentimental examination of these and other critical issues affecting the future of the seas, and to debate the importance of the sustainable use of the oceans.

The summit will bring together a community of more than 200 global leaders from various sectors and disciplines, including business, government, academia, international organisations and NGOs, for the launch of an initiative that brings a fresh perspective to debates on the future health of the oceans.
Other key topics to be debated at the World Oceans Summit, through a variety of interactive discussion formats, include:

KEYNOTE & DISCUSSION:The need for global common purpose around the oceans - Robert Zoellick, President, World Bank
BRIEFING:An economic forecast from the Economist Intelligence Unit
DISCUSSION:Why value the oceans?
DISCUSSION:Economic growth and oceans conservation—are they reconcilable?
IN CONVERSATION:Business, blue and green
DISCUSSION:Who should rule the waves?
SPECIAL GOVERNANCE FOCUS:The Arctic—beacon of hope?
DIALOGUE:Feeding the world—are oceans the solution?
DISCUSSION:New solutions for fishing
DISCUSSION:Making marine protection economically viable
DISCUSSION:The problem of pollution and marine debris
WORKING SESSIONS:A series of outcome and solution-driven sessions covering key issues

For a full overview of all the issues to be discussed at the summit
Reserve your place today; or contact us to convey your interest in supporting the initiative. If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact Alice Wong by telephone at            (+852) 2585 3312       or


John Micklethwait
The Economist 
Lead sponsor:
Supporting sponsor:
Official communications partner:
View speakers | View programme
Featured speakers include:
Robert Zoellick
World Bank
Teo Chee Hean Deputy Prime Minister
Government of Singapore
Sylvia Earle
National Geographic Society
Ahmed Djoghlaf Executive Secretary United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
Tim Smith
Chief Executive Officer, North Asia
Maersk Line
Mike Barry
Head of
Sustainable Business
Marks & Spencer
Malcolm Preston
Global Head of Sustainability and Climate ChangePricewaterhouse Coopers
Spyros Polemis Chairman
International Chamber of Shipping
Paul Holthus
Executive Director
World Ocean Council
Anisa Kamadoli Costa
Vice President Global Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility
Tiffany & Co
Peter Boyd
Chief Operating Officer Carbon War Room
Tommy Koh
Ambassador-At-Large Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore
Click here to view the full Summit speaker faculty
Supporting organisations: 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Photographing Queensland's King Tides

AUSMEPA would like to remind anyone choosing to participate in this exciting project that full safety precautions should be taken particularly if children are present. 

The following excerpt is taken from the Green Cross website here

Witness King Tides

What will the Queensland coast look like in the future?

Along the QLD coast, the summer of 2012 will bring very high spring tides (king tides) which are visible during daylight hours.

King tides can demonstrate what our coasts might look like in the future under conditions of sea level rise due to climate change. Relatively rare water levels today (king tides) are likely to be very common water levels along much of the coast toward the end of the century due to projected sea level rise. Photographing the impacts on the peak of the king tide enables the community to visualize what the landscape might look like when these waters levels are much higher as a result of sea level rise.

With over 85% of Australia's population living less than 50km from the coast, learning what the future might hold is important.

Green Cross Australia invites all Queenslanders to witness the 2012 king tides, and contribute to the project by taking photos and sharing them online.  Your photos will play an important part in this community citizen science initiative, which will illustrate potential vulnerable areas by developing a photographic database which will assist in planning for future implications of sea level rise.  

The Witness King Tides website will launch in November with all of the details for being part of the project.  We would love to see your family, school, or community group get involved and be part of future solutions.

What is it?

By taking photos of the sea level during the 2012 summer king tide we can build a picture database of what the future might hold for Queensland communities. Next, all the images will be uploaded to the Witness King Tides website to create a state-wide mosaic of tidal waters that will be far more common by the end of the century as sea levels continue to rise. These images will assist to identify areas at risk and promote awareness about the urgency to plan well ahead to address these risks.

Get involved

The King Tides site will be live mid November where information about the timing of the king tide in your area will be available as well as details for registering to participate.  Keep an eye on the site for details of photography workshops before the King Tides event for anyone wanting to hone their photography skills. Spread the word to your family, friends and colleagues and plan a photography outing on the day.