Scientists warn that pollution may be dramatically increasing the rate of ocean acidification in inshore areas, threatening coral:
I remember once being at the Tollgate Islands, offshore from Batemans Bay with Royal Botanic Gardens seaweed expert, Dr Alan Millar, as he emerged from a scuba dive holding a grab bag of specimens that he wanted to investigate. Once he had taken out his regulator and emerged from the waters of the Batemans Marine Park, he said: “Forget about searching for life on Mars, I’m looking for life on Earth!”
Today there is another story reminding us how much is yet to be discovered in our marine environments:
At the recent Australian Coral Reef Society annual conference in Brisbane I met a young scientist called Renata Ferrari. We were chatting at the end of day one when canapés were being passed around. On the first plate being offered were some prawns. Without any embarrassment Renata asked the waiter whether they were sustainably harvested prawns. He looked confused but scurried off to the kitchen to ask the chef, while I held the invertebrate in my fingers with bated breath…He returned unsure and Dr Ferrari declined. I ate mine guiltily…She told me I needed a sustainable seafood app on my phone…Later I chased up a piece she wrote on the issue:
“Prawns are an Aussie favourite. They’re also a great example of how confusing shopping for sustainable seafood can be. Prawns can be a bad choice; for example, if they’re black tiger prawns farmed and imported. They can be a “think” choice, if they’re king prawns that have been trawl caught. Or they can be a “better” choice, particularly if they’re greentail prawns that have been haul caught in NSW.
“Given this complexity, it is important that the origin and fishing/farming method be labelled at any seafood vendor. If prawns are just labelled “prawns”, how can a consumer know what they’re getting?
“Australia needs laws that require more stringent labels on seafood sold at any vender. Together with consistent sustainable seafood guidelines, labelling laws could help make the consumption of sustainable seafood commonplace. [Read more →]
Fighting cigarettes, on the beaches and in the dunes…This week two young surfers, Nat Woods and Daniel Smith, set off on the Trash Safari – a journey that started at Sunshine Beach in Queensland. They are the founders of the Clean Coast Collective and believe passionately that no-one should walk past litter on the coast…Over coming months they will be organising events around the Australian continent…
In their own words: [Read more →]
Montage image presented at the recent 88th Australian Coral Reef Society conference in Brisbane.
By James Woodford
Welcome to Tropical Sydney, where a Manly Ferry ride could one day be a coral reef cruise.
Towards the end of her keynote address, at the 88th Australian Coral Reef Society conference in Brisbane, Dr Adriana Vergés, a marine ecologist at the University of New South Wales, flashed a slide onto the screen behind her.
It was a manipulated image of Sydney Harbour, half above and half below the water. The photo looked stereotypically glorious until the audience’s eyes wandered to what lay beneath the surface – a magnificent coral seascape in crystal clear water. There were plate and staghorn corals along with a cloud of tropical fish.
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So after a long break…I am planning to start publishing some Realdirt stories again…Here is what I have been working on recently – a land-sharing website, called Youcamp.com
Right now it is in the middle of a national social media competition being run by PayPal…Have look and if you like the idea, please vote at: http://www.paypal.com.au/peoplerulecomp
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Every now and then you see something on youtube that is really wonderful and subtle and a lot more profound than it first appears:
Youcamp is a community of private landholders who welcome responsible visitors…
Are you a traveller looking for accommodation near a festival or big event, a safe place to park your self-contained campervan, a secluded picnic spot, a traditional camping site far from the crowds, or anything else?
Your adventure begins at youcamp.com
By Stuart Kininmonth
Last month found me sailing to the coral sea reefs. I was in the middle of nowhere, not a care in the world; one kilometre of water underneath, no land or reefs for many miles and a fair wind giving life to the sails. As usual my thoughts drifted across the horizon as I settled into the rhythmic pattern of this ocean world. I glanced at the plotter and realised I could be in trouble. I raced back to the stern and began frantically pulling in my trawling line.