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National Marine NRM News

October 2019
In This Edition:


Bryan Skepper awarded Industry Ambassador at the National Seafood Industry Awards


Seafood Directions Conference, Melbourne, 2019

The biggest national seafood event ‘Seafood Directions’ was hosted by Seafood Industry Victoria and held at the Melbourne Convention Centre during October 9-11. Professional fishermen, industry peak bodies, fisheries researchers, managers, experts in safety, environment, extension and more, gathered for two days of networking and participating in workshops. Seafood Directions 2019 was open to members of the public for the first time.

The conference focused on four key themes:
  • Sustainability – Looking at the numerous commercial, cultural, environmental and Human Resource sustainability.
  • Value – capturing and delivering value to differentiate and celebrate our unique Australian Seafood products.
  • Industry – The real stories from the seafood industry that need to be told.
  • Plastics –   about the impacts of plastic in the marine environment, and to workshop real and possible solutions. Our own Lowri Pryce presented on the work OceanWatch is doing with the seafood industry to help tackle the problems of plastic. 

The National Seafood Industry Awards were held during the conference. These awards showcase the Australian seafood industry; its value to the national economy, its professionalism, and its commitment to supplying some of the finest seafood in the world to local, national and international markets. Congratulations to research director at WAMSI Dr. Jenny Shaw for being inducted into the Hall of Fame for her long-standing commitment to the Australian seafood industry. Congratulations to former Sydney Fish Market General Manager and OceanWatch Director, Bryan Skepper who was awarded Industry Ambassador. This award recognises an individual who has demonstrated a substantial positive difference to the seafood industry over at least twenty years. Bryan is a highly effective and respected seafood industry leader.

During the conference Seafood Industry Australia launched ‘Our Pledge’. Our seafood industry pledge is to supply the Australian community with the best Australian seafood for generations to come, and ensure that we continue to care for the marine environment and the people working within the industry. You can learn more on the Seafood Industry Australia website.
Dr Jenny Shaw (left) was inducted into the hall of fame at the National Seafood Industry Awards
Photo source: WAFIC
Our Pledge

The Blessing of the Fleet, 2019

On Sunday the 29th of September the Sydney Fish Market held the annual Blessing of the Fleet, an opportunity for the community and international visitors to experience and learn about the rich heritage of the Australian fishing community. 

The Blessing of the Fleet ceremony itself is a long held tradition conducted to ensure vessels and their crew have a safe and bountiful fishing season. The ceremony was followed by live music, entertainment and of course delicious local seafood. 

OceanWatch was down on the wharf with Pyrmont based professional fishermen, showcasing industry skills and knowledge with the community, like splicing rope and mending net.

Local fishermen joined OceanWatch to help the community learn more about where their seafood comes from. OceanWatch Master Fishermen, Paul, Vince, Tony & Diego Bagnato helped present an interactive seafood display for the public to learn more about the variety of local seafood caught, and how to clean & prepare it for eating. 

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:
Troy Billin

Troy is a professional fisherman based in Yamba on the NSW Far North Coast, he is also a proud graduate of the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program. Troy is an endorsed fishermen who works in the NSW Estuary General and Ocean Trap and Line fisheries. Working in the Clarence River region, Troy responsibly supplies seafood consumers with exceptional quality local sustainable seafood.

Troy is proud to be an OceanWatch Master Fisherman.
Learn more.

Diego Bagnato

Diego is based out of Pyrmont and is proud to be recognised as an OceanWatch Master Fisherman. Diego first went to sea at 4 years of age. For the next 10 years he learned from his father, before he first skippered a fishing trawler out of Sydney. ‘Richie’ Bagnato is a professional fisherman, endorsed to fish in the NSW Ocean Fish Trawl and Deepwater Prawn Fisheries. He is a longstanding representative of industry, participating in numerous industry committees and advocacy organisations. He is a proud fisherman who responsibly and sustainably harvests local seafood for seafood consumers.
Learn more.

Professional Fisherman Diego Bagnato tells us why being recognised as an OceanWatch Master Fisherman is important to him and his industry.

Get Involved & Do Your Bit

Reef Restoration Workshop 

Reef Ecologic is running a reef restoration workshop at Orpheus Island research station, Great Barrier Reef, QLD on the 15-18th of November.

The workshop is designed to improve the skills and knowledge of reef scientists, managers, educators and those interested in making a difference for the future of coral reefs and communities.

The 3-day intensive project includes learning sessions, field activities and project development that focus on learning and sharing knowledge about reef restoration methods and techniques. It helps to facilitate communication and collaboration on reef health and allows participants to learn about and enjoy the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem.

Learn more.

Join A Cleanup
Right now Ocean Cleanups's floating boom is helping to collect and remove plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean garbage patch. Whilst this is a win for the worlds' oceans there's still lots that can be done to reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans and waterways. 

Getting involved in an ocean clean up is one way to make a difference for the worlds marine ecosystems, helping to support a brighter future for the worlds natural environment. 

Organisations like Tangaroa Blue and Clean up Australia are just some of the companies helping to reduce waste and plastics in our natural environment. These organisations run regular clean ups and can help to facilitate clean ups in your community. So why wait, join a clean up near you, or even better organise your own clean up and help to create a cleaner, healthier marine environment. 


In The News

Ocean Cleanup's floating boom now working and collecting plastic in the Pacific Ocean
"A floating boom designed by a Dutch inventor to catch a huge island of floating plastic in the Pacific Ocean is now working. Boyan Slat, founder of The Ocean Cleanup not-for-profit, announced the floating boom was skimming up waste in the ocean between California and Hawaii, with sizes ranging from a discarded net and a car wheel complete with tyre, to chips of plastic measuring just 1 millimetre." ABC
Read Here

Source: ABC

Snapper fishing to be banned in SA waters for more than three years, SA Government says
"The South Australian Government is forging ahead with its plan to ban snapper fishing in the state's coastal waters, despite heated opposition from fishers and charter boat operators." ABC

Read Here.

Seafood Industry Australia, has called for a review on this ban, read more here.

Find out what it means for South Australian Fishers here.

Source: ABC

Restoring Australia’s coastal ecosystems reportedly equivalent to taking four million cars off the road
"New world-first research says restoring Australia’s marine ecosystems would significantly help fight climate change and create tens of millions of dollars’ worth of carbon credits." SBS
Read Here

Source: SBS

Victoria bans commercial fishing on Gippsland Lakes, prioritising recreational fishing

"The Victorian Government has shut down another commercial fishing industry in a move aimed at increasing the number of recreational fishers." ABC
Read Here

Source: ABC

New grouper fish species found at market, Queensland Museum says
"A new species of rockcod, or grouper, has been confirmed by the Queensland Museum after two years of testing its DNA, following the discovery of several specimens at a fish market in 2017." ABC
Read Here.

Source: ABC

Barramundi farming closing the taste gap over its wild-caught cousins, says award-winning producer

"Farmed barramundi can be the equal of its wild-caught saltwater sibling. That is the message from an award-winning aquaculture operator." ABC
Read Here.

Source: ABC

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.


2019 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award

Applications are open for the 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award. Emerging female leaaders who want to create impact, innovate and make a different to rural and regioanl Australia are encouraged to apply. Applications close 31st October. 

Click here for more details.


2019 Sydney Fish Market Environment Grant

Sydney Fish Market offers an annual grant of up to $10,000 to adopt better fishing practices. This grant is available to an individual or group of fishers/aquaculturists who are active suppliers to Sydney Fish Market.

Applications close October 31st.
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.

2019 EAAFP Waterbirds Photo Contest

The EAAFP Waterbirds Contest aims to raise awareness of conservation of migratory waterbirds and sustainable management of their habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyaway (EAAF) region through photography.

Submission Deadline: 15th November 2019
Learn more here.

Diary Dates

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