Sunday, May 27, 2012

MEDIA RELEASE: Hammerhead sharks to find protection in NSW

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Media Release
23 May, 2012

NSW acts to protect hammerhead sharks

Humane Society International (HSI) today welcomed the listing of two hammerhead shark species in NSW under theFisheries Management Act 1994, following an HSI nomination. The great hammerhead shark has been listed as vulnerable and the scalloped hammerhead shark as endangered under the Act.

The listing of these two species is a big leap forward in the conservation of these sharks in NSW waters,” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International. “These listings will ban the sale and possession of these threatened species and help to provide a safe haven for them in NSW waters.”

Great and scalloped hammerhead sharks are caught in the NSW Ocean Trap and Line Fishery, targeted by recreational fishers as well as being caught in the shark nets off NSW beaches. HSI has consistently called for the removal of bather protection nets off NSW beaches due to the impacts they have on protected species such as the grey nurse shark and hammerhead shark.

Hammerhead sharks are targeted worldwide for their fins which are of high value. Efforts are underway globally to better conserve our shark species and this is a great first step taken by NSW to protect these sharks,” continued Ms Wellbelove. “We call on the Federal Government and other States to also consider listing these species to ensure they can be afforded the full protection they deserve, and now have in NSW, whilst in all Australian waters.”

Data from NSW, Queensland and international waters suggests that hammerhead sharks have declined by between 75% and more than 90% in less than two generations, representing a very high risk of extinction in the near future.

Contact: Alexia Wellbelove, HSI Senior Program Manager – (02) 9973 1728 or 0415 954 600

Fish stocks double near marine reserves - DNA tells the story

New Scientist Article: 
DNA suggests marine reserves boost commercial fishing
 24 May 2012 by Michael Slezak

If you protect fish, there will be more of them to catch. That's the reasoning conservationists have long used to persuade commercial fisheries of the benefits of marine reserves. Now they may have DNA confirmation.
Earlier research had shown that marine reserves result in larger fish that spawn more offspring, but researchers were left speculating exactly where the baby fish ended up and whether they truly help replenish other areas.
Now, with the use of new DNA profiling techniques, scientists have shown that by devoting less than a third of an area to a marine reserve network, you can double the number of juvenile fish that settle in the rest of the area. (Current Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.04.008)

Read more of this

Monday, May 21, 2012

PHOTO SURVEY: A record of change of the ex-HMAS Brisbane

Nigel Marsh, has kept a photographic record of the ex HMAS Brisbane that was scuttled over  5 years ago off the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

This record is of interest as it shows that more and more dive clubs are incorporating techniques worthy of underwater naturalists. Such photographic records can provide scientists and managers with an on-going pictorial view of important local changes in the sea. The information can be viewed as a community early warning system if something is happening and may need attention. 

The process also gives divers the sense that they are looking after the ocean. Maybe your club might think about starting a photo survey collection. Learn more about photo surveys here

ex-HMAS Brisbane photo survey
BOW GUN                                       
Bow gun 3 days
Bow gun 4 months

Bow gun 1 year

Bow gun 5 years

Iron press 4 months

Iron press 5 years

Reel 3 days

Reel 5 years

Stern gun 3 days
Stern gun 5 years

Monday, May 14, 2012

PLASTICITY; Rio Earth Summit

Have you heard of the side event being organized for the Rio Earth Summit, called Plasticity  This is all about the future of plastic, and where the leaders are going.   In the run-up to Rio, a cool ideas competition, called Capturing Gold  which anyone can get involved in.  It is being organized by Ocean Recovery Alliance of Hong Kong as well, so having some local support would be great!

Capturing Gold is an open source, collaborative idea platform for the planet to address two big challenges: 
1) how to capture and bring in, large quantities of “gold” (PET plastic bottles) from our societies, on a long term, sustained basis, and then 
2) what to do with that material in new, innovative ways.   When that demand sound starts happening to make these new products from PET, the “gold” will be collected.  

The platform is used by Audi for its idea generation, and is pretty slick.  If you are an originator of ideas, and people like what you are working on, they can contribute to it to make it better, so your idea then rises in importance.  Contributors who add value also rise in status.  The winners will be announced in Rio at our event on June 21st.   Judges so far are from Volvo, Nike and one of the inventors of PET bottles

The following day we will have a half-day session with stakeholders of all types who are interested, to work with the facilitator Rapid Results, whose claim to fame is that they can get groups who normally don’t work together, to work together within 100 days to solve a problem.   So, we will give people the tools, based on the winning ideas announced at Plasticity, to go home to their respective countries, and deploy these new ideas, and hopefully get something moving, as a result of Rio, within 100 days.  This will also be broadcast on Youtube. 

Capturing Gold

Recent Press

Saturday, May 5, 2012

AUSMEPA enters the PRIMEZONE portal

AUSMEPA has now entered the primezone education portal. It is about time for you to explore it here

Primezone provides teachers with single-point access to a range of primary industries education resources here. This website is an initiative of the Primary Industries Education Foundation, a national not-for-profit company with government, industry and education membership.

AUSMEPA resources can be found at each of the designated age levels and you'll find some excellent inspiration from many of the other resources on these pages.

1. School resources

2. Resources for Foundation Year-Year 2

3. Resources for Years 3-4

4. Resources for Years 5-6

5. Resources for Years 7-8

6. Resources for Years 9-10

7. Resources for Years 11-12

Many thanks to primezone for putting together this wonderful educational resource.

SOLDIER CRABS - mictyris longiscarpus

The glorious little blue soldier crabs are delightful little crabs inhabiting the Australian coastline. You could be excused for thinking that they lead a beach party lifestyle as you view the decorative sand bubbles strewn around their homes. This is not the case.

Enjoy watching this short informative clip by Manic Multimedia 

Want to learn more about beaches and rockpools? Have a look at AUSMEPA's new unit on Rockpools here