Saturday, January 23, 2016

FOR TEACHERS: What are Marine Dead Zones?

Dead zones are places where biological systems have been severely affected by the loss of oxygen in the water. Although some bacteria flourish feasting on dead plankton and other organisms who cannot otherwise migrate away from the affected area.

Dead zones can occur naturally however it is no coincidence that dead zones are increasing around the world. They occur often at river mouths and receiving waters that are collection points for runoff. Increased human activities have lead to greater amounts of nutrients and other pollutants coming off the land from wind and water. 

The link below is for an educational presentation describing the history of research related to Chesapeake Bay, with an emphasis on new insights into what controls the size of the dead zone, how its size has varied in past, and what we should expect in future decades. There are other case studies of interest also.

For Australian specific information see

Washed Ashore Exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo

AUSMEPA having launched online art activities for children here using upcycling and recycling concepts we find it heart warming to learn about the wonderful exhibition by artist Angela Hastletine Pozzi that was held at the San Francisco Zoo.

The clip was produced by our sister organisation, the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

TEACHERS: Wet Paper marine education resources

One of the respected names over the last twenty years and more, of marine education publication is Wet Paper. The materials are certainly relevant. If you wish to find out more, read on!


On Sale: $22.00
Printable childrens books and resources subject to copyright for 1 user.
On Sale: $22.00
Printable childrens books and resources subject to copyright for 1 user.
On Sale: $22.00
Printable childrens books and resources subject to copyright for 1 user.
On Sale: $22.00
Printable childrens books and resources subject to copyright for 1 user.

Marine Studies curriculum material for Australian Schools

Email Wet Paper  Ph: 07 5525 6122

BRAIN CORAL art project

Coral comes in so many interesting shapes and variations. Brain coral is one of them. It grows into a round ball shape with a maze-like pattern.

In the illustration above we are using a balloon, paper mache and jute twine to create the dome  shape of a brain coral.

What you need:
Look up an image of a brain coral  (see a photo at Arkive, here)

  •  A small to medium sized balloon suitable to cover with paper mache
  • Newspaper or tissue paper torn into pieces
  • Paper mache glue Paints & brushes & a glass of water to rinse
  • Straight sewing pins
  • Piece of flat cardboard
  • A ball of twine
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • A designated wet work area

What to do:

  • Make up a batch of paper mache glue  -- 1 cup flour       and 1 cup water, and a few tablespoons of salt mixed     until smooth
  • Blow up your balloon to the size required and tie off the end
  • Cut a slit in the flat cardboard and slide the balloon  to the middle of the cardboard so that the paper mache doesn't make a mess on the table and it will help to hold the balloon steady
  • Cover your balloon  with 2-3 layers of newspaper or tissue paper that have soaked briefly in the paper mache glue
  • Allow to dry completely
  • Repeat the previous 2 steps, adding another 2-3 layers
  • Using your twine make a base for the brain bommie to sit on by wrapping it round and round the bottom of the shape (see illustration)
  • Observing the pattern of the brain coral you looked up earlier, you can begin to tack     the twine to the dome shape. This may prove a little difficult so you may choose to use sewing pins to pin your twine to the dried paper mache  [some students may need assistance]
  • When you are satisfied your squiggles are where you want them you can either paint   liberally with craft glue or tack down with a glue gun (heavier twine will require stronger glue) 
  • Allow to dry and remove from the cardboard station

Although brain coral are usually muted colours you may choose to paint your brain coral
Arrange your brain coral bommie into a Coral Reef project here

Awarded AMC Training Manager, Jarrod Weaving, explores similarities between Torres Strait and Canadian Arctic



Media Release

Monday, 11 January 2016

Maritime training challenges mirrored across globe

The tropical waters of the Torres Strait and the freezing Arctic region of northern Canada don’t appear to have a lot in common at first glance. Yet they are both home to indigenous populations whose culture and economic prosperity are closely linked to the marine environment and its fishing resources.

Australian Maritime College Vocational Education and Training Manager Jarrod Weaving spent four weeks on an international fellowship exploring the similarities of delivering maritime training to the indigenous people of the Torres Strait and the aboriginal communities of Canada.

The fellowship, offered through the Transport and Logistics Skills Council in partnership with the International Specialised Skills Institute, aims to bring back best practice and innovative approaches to benefit Australian industry.

Mr Weaving was struck by the common challenges experienced by his team of maritime trainers and their international counterparts in Canada.

“The same problems that we have here with our indigenous training with language, literacy and numeracy skills, and students who don’t feel comfortable in the classroom environment and prefer to do hands-on training, are exactly the same on the other side of the globe,” he said.

“There is a great demand for blended delivery training from these indigenous populations, who fish to support their lifestyle and cultural connections to the sea.”

Mr Weaving spent a week at the Marine Institute in Newfoundland looking at how they deliver their indigenous training programs before visiting the Miawpukek community of Conne River, where he met traditional Saqamaw Chief Misel Joe.

Since being established as a reserve in 1987, Miawpukek has gone from a poor, isolated community to a thriving fishing village with almost 100 per cent employment.

“Chief Joe was very proud to show me his community and how they’ve used their fishing rights to boost economic development in the area,” Mr Weaving said.

“He is hoping to come to Australia in February and look at what we’re doing. The other thing we’re really excited about is developing a student exchange program between the Torres Strait and Canada, which would allow the students to experience a new culture.”

From there, Mr Weaving travelled to Iqaluit on Baffin Island – a remote community just south of the Arctic Circle that has built a multi-million dollar fishing industry using 70-metre factory trawlers. The desolate environment proved an eye-opening experience.

“I thought the Island was remote but when I went to Baffin Island I couldn’t believe how remote it was. There’s nothing there, it’s a bit like the moon. It’s amazing how desolate it is – there’s no green, no grass, no flowers, nothing,” he said.

“The cold is the biggest challenge they face. Their fishing season runs for six months a year and then they travel south when the waters ice over.”

Mr Weaving found that the training delivered in Australia and Canada were of a similar standard, but he plans to put in place some additional pre-sea training so students are aware of what life at sea is like before they start work, after seeing the success of the program in Iqaluit.

Chief Joe and Jarrod Weaving - AMC Vocational Education and Training Manager Jarrod Weaving (right) meets traditional Saqamaw Chief Misel Joe during a visit to the Conne River.

Fast rescue boat training - Students from the Marine Institute conducting survival training. The students are dressed in survival suits ready to enter the cold Canadian waters.

Information released by:
Communications and Media Office, University of Tasmania
Phone: 61 3 6324 9874 or 0438 408 314


Preview attachment Chief Joe and Jarrod Weaving.jpg

Preview attachment Fast rescue boat training.jpg
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What is IMO and what does it have to do with climate change?

IMO is the acronym for the
International Maritime Organisation but
what is it and what does it do?

As a specialized agency for 170
governments of the world through the
United Nations (UN) the IMO was a
presenter at the PARIS 2015 UN
Climate Change Conference. Their
presentation showed how international
plays an essential role in the
facilitation of world trade
as the most
cost-effective and energy-efficient mode
of mass 
cargo transport

The IMO provides the apparatus for intergovernmental cooperation in the area of
regulation of ships designed for international trade transport. It is responsible for the
global regulation of all aspects of international shipping. More fully it has a key role in
ensuring that the 
environment is not polluted by ships’ operations, that lives at sea are
not put at risk including maritime security issues.  

IMO’s mission statement:  Safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans

With more than 90% of international trade by sea, shipping is crucial part of the development
of a sustainable global 
economy and there are environmental considerations with increasing
mass cargo movements around the world. 

Mandatory energy efficient requirements for reducing greenhouse gases from international
shipping have been in place for three years. IMO reports that the data collected over this period
clearly identifies the improvements made, significant in many cases, in the energy efficiency of
ships being designed and delivered.

The energy efficiency regulations (Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of
Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) came into force on 1 January 2013 and apply to all ships 400 gross
tonnes and above.
  • Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships is a non-prescriptive, performance-
    based mechanism that leaves the choice of technologies to use in a specific ship
    design as long as the required energy-efficiency level is attained
  • Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) allows ship designers and builders of
    400 gross tonnage and above free to use the most cost-efficient solutions for a ship to
    comply with the regulations. 
The complexity of optimizing the energy efficiency of existing ships requires that any future
action to be taken can only be achieved following the analysis of robust data. 

1 January 2016 IMO Member State Audit Scheme became mandatory. 
An important aspect of IMO’s work is ensuring Member states  compliance with the various
treaties covering safety, training, prevention of pollution, load lines, tonnage measurement
and collision prevention that they have ratified. To achieve this, the previously voluntary
Member State Audit Scheme, is now mandatory.

Up to 25 Member State audits per year are expected to be undertaken and will measure the
degree of implementation of all existing treaties as well as new amendments and good practices.
The IMO, as the global regulator of international shipping, continues its endeavours to reduce
environmental impacts from international maritime transport, a vital industry to world trade and
sustainable development.
For more information click here

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Zero Waste: DYI with Lauren Singer

Have you been wondering how to stop filling your trash can with plastic waste? This lady has and it is exciting to see how she challenged herself.