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National Marine NRM News

November 2019
In This Edition:


Simon Rowe and Andy Myers on the banks of the Darling River at the Annual Conference
NSW Landcare Conference, Broken Hill, 2019

OceanWatch was in unusual habitat last month when Andy Myers and Simon Rowe headed inland. The primary mission was to present a poster and speech at the 2019 NSW State Landcare Conference in Broken Hill.

The annual conference provides an opportunity to hear from those that attend from around the state and catch up with colleagues from all walks of life on what they have been doing, innovations and the continual social struggles we all face collectively. Andy’s talk on Oyster innovations went down a treat and the closing conference remarks in poetry were the best I’ve heard and I’ve been to a few conferences.

The return drive from Broken Hill to Mildura via Pooncarie and Menindee rounded off a reminder on how tough conditions are west of the divide with the drought and an appreciation first hand of the struggles associated with the Murray Darling water allocations from many perspectives. If you’re looking for a holiday with a difference I can highly recommend what the area has to offer. Be sure to spend locally and highly recommend breakfast in Pooncarie.

Meet our OceanWatch Master Fisherman

The OceanWatch Master Fisherman program is a formal training and assessment for professional fishers, helping to demonstrate commitment to responsible fishing practices. Oceanwatch have now trained over 110 professional fisherman across NSW as Master Fisherman and are now expanding the program interstate, starting with professional fisherman in SA.
Recognised OceanWatch Master Fisherman are continuing to raise the standard of responsible fishing in Australia. These fisherman showcase the drive for sustainability and environmental awareness in the Australian seafood industry.

Learn more.
Here are some of our Master Fisherman:
Gary Howard

Gary Howard is a second generation professional prawn fisherman endorsed to fish in the Hawkesbury River. He relies on local knowledge and skills learnt over many years.

Gary has dedicated his time to help improve the sustainability of the fishery. This includes proud involvement in fisheries related research programs, includes the trialling of novel prawn trawl designs and bycatch reduction devices. He has also presented at numerous community events to help promote and improve awareness of the local prawn trawl fishery, and continual efforts from the industry for improvement.
Learn more.

Esmay Hropic

Esmay Hropic is a professional fisher endorsed to fish in the NSW Estuary General and Ocean Prawn Trawl fisheries. Esmay is a steward of the marine environment where she works, and she practices and embraces environmental fishing methods.

The Hropic family have lived and fished in Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast for over 50 years with a proud history of responsibly harvesting and supplying local sustainable seafood for seafood consumers.
Learn more.

Get Involved & Do Your Bit

2020 Oyster Industry Waterway Clean-up!
The date of the inaugural Oyster Industry Clean-Up Week is the 17th of February 2020. Whilst many oyster farmers already participate in estuary clean-ups throughout the year, the Oyster Industry Clean-Up Week provides an opportunity to scale up the effort by combining industry effort across NSW and Interstate to collectivlety improve our nations waterways. Currently there is expressions of interest from oyster farmers across 17 estuaries in NSW, and 7 oyster producing regions interstate. The model for a clean-up is easy to replicate, and local growers can decide if they want to run this as an industry only event, or partner with the local community or other local groups. 

If you are interested in getting involved please email OceanWatch can assist with the organisation of waste collection & disposal, provide rubbish bags, gloves etc. The more growing regions we can get on board the better – it becomes a much better story, and one that demonstrates the value that the oyster industry places on a healthy environment.

Learn more about the Oyster Industry Waterway Clean-Up Week.

Intern for OceanWatch Australia 
OceanWatch Australia receives numerous requests for volunteer intern placements throughout the year and being a small organisation, we are unable to accommodate all requests. We are however looking at accepting 2 positions every 6 months with intakes in February and July each year. These positions will get exposure and experience to the types of projects we work on and assist us meet delivery of current projects. if you are interested in this opportunity send your internship application form (available below) and resumé to:

Applications must be submitted by the 1st of December 2019 for the February Intake and by 1st of April for the July Intake.

Internship Application

Learn more about opportunities with OceanWatch Australia

In The News

Australia's lost shellfish reefs are roaring back to life
"In just a few years, 8 million native angasi oyster hatchlings have been placed in the waters off Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia, on the recycled mollusc shells collected from restaurants." ABC
Read Here

Source: ABC

Sea urchins devastate broadleaf seagrass: Industry and environmentalists team up to restore it
"An unlikely partnership involving scientists and the fishing industry is at the centre of efforts to restore seagrass stocks in Corner Inlet...Broadleaf seagrass has been decimated by native urchins in the waterway in Victoria's south-east, and it has the commercial fishing industry worried" ABC
Read Here

Source: ABC

Ocean Cleanup’s New Plastic-Catcher … Kinda Already Exists?
"A little over a year ago, a group called The Ocean Cleanup launched an unprecedented campaign to rid the seas of plastic, complete with an unprecedented device: a 600-meter-long, U-shaped tube that was meant to passively gather debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for a ship to come along and scoop up and take back to land. A few months later, the plastic catcher not only wasn’t catching plastic, it had split in two, so The Ocean Cleanup had to tow it to Hawaii for repairs and upgrades. Then earlier this month the group announced its device was at last gathering plastic, though one researcher pointed out on Twitter that it was also gathering marine life. Not such smooth sailing, it would seem." WIRED
Read Here

Source: WIRED

'Our Pledge' Update
"We (SIA) are full throttle developing the performance evaluation system that will sit behind Our Pledge. The system has been designed to provide more proof of the things we are doing well while also highlighting opportunities for improvement. We will test it all by developing a preliminary benchmark evaluation before developing a more complete assessment. We will keep you updated as
we go." SIA
Watch #OurStories as Bill Passey discusses the importance of improving the practices of the Australian Seafood Industry.
Read Here

Source: SIA

Grants, Awards and Opportunities 

Environment Restoration Fund The Environment Restoration Fund is a program by The Australian Government that focuses on three things:

  1. Protecting threatened and migratory species and their habitat.
  2. Protecting Australia’s coasts, oceans and waterways by addressing erosion, improving water quality and protecting coastal threatened and migratory species.
  3. The clean-up, recovery and recycling of waste.
On-ground projects that aim to protect and restore Australia’s environment will be eligible to receive support under the Fund, including grants for one-off activities and multi-year programs worth several million dollars. Projects will be delivered by community groups, Indigenous organisations, conservation organisations, natural resource management bodies and others.

Read more here.

Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation

Community and government organisations can apply for grants of up to $100,000 for projects that achieve long-term outcomes for the NSW environment.
There are two streams of funding available under the Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Program in 2019, government and community.

Click here for more information.
NSW Seafood Innovation Fund
The NSW Government is offering low interest rate loans to assist commercial fishers and aquaculture farmers to identify and address risks to their business, improve permanent assets and infrastructure, ensure long term productivity and sustainable use of the marine, estuarine and land-based environment.

National Seafood Industry Leadership Program

Applications are open for the 2020 intake of the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program.
NSILP is the only national seafood industry specific leadership program, and is designed for people wishing to take up leadership roles within the seafood industry. The focus of the program is for participants to develop an understanding of how to impact constructively, resulting in positive outcomes for the seafood industry. Graduates have gone on to apply their skills to a wide range of areas including regional network development, regional and state industry association boards, and reference committees and effective business management. 
Learn more here.

 The Sunrise Project Small Grants
Grants of up to $5000. Open application process. Their focus is on reducing the impact of coal and gas industries on ecosystems.

Learn more here.

Smart Farms-Small Grants

The Australian Government has recently opened the Smart Farm - Small Grants program. You can apply for up to $50,000. Applications close 19th Dec.
This is an open, competitive, grant opportunity to support projects to increase farming, forestry and fishing communities’ awareness, knowledge, skills and capacity to adopt best practice.
The purpose of Smart Farms Small Grants is to support land manager practice change that will deliver more sustainable, productive and profitable food, fibre and forestry business while protecting Australia’s biodiversity; protecting and improving the condition of natural resources; and assisting Australia meet its international obligations.
Learn more here.

Diary Dates

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