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National Marine NRM News 

October 2022
In This Edition:


Taste of Seafood Festivals
The Taste of Seafood Festivals kicked off in late September in conjunction with the Blessing of the Fleet at Sydney Fish Market with over 25,000 attendees. The Taste of Seafood Festivals are run by the Professional Fishers Association with the objective of championing local industry and supporting sustainable fishing practices. These events showcase the quality seafood provided by our NSW professional fishers. Since the initial event the PFA have run festivals in Ballina and Dubbo, with the next festival being held in Bermagui on the 25th and 36th of November. 

Learn more. 
Mangrove and Saltmarsh Conference
The Australian Mangrove and Saltmarsh Network Conference (AMSN2022) was held in Ballina earlier this month. AMSN was established to address the management issues that face tidal wetland habitats  bringing together academics, industry, NGOs, community, and coastal managers to share knowledge and discuss management of mangrove and saltmarsh ecosystems. 

The Conference included over 50 talks covering a diversity of research and projects occurring in these ecosystems. There was a strong emphasis on blue carbon policy and practice, with filed trip to a potential blue carbon site in the Ballina area.  OceanWatch's Claudia Santori also presented on our post-bushfire mangrove recovery efforts on the NSW south coast. 

Responsible Oyster Farmer Training Continues
OceanWatch in partnership with NSW Farmers recently held another 5 Responsible Oyster Farmer training workshops along the NSW coast.  The Program is designed to provide an in-depth background and overview of responsible oyster farming practices as outlined in the Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy. It consists of 12 modules covering topics pertinent to the oyster industry and responsible and best practice oyster farming. NSW Farmers provided the funding for this round of workshops.

Learn more. 
Seafood Directions Conference
The 2022 Seafood Directions conference was held last month in Brisbane with over 500 delegates from across the Australian Seafood Industry in attendance. Seafood Directions is the premier ideas, innovation and networking event for the Australian seafood industry. There was a strong focus on the environment at this year's conference with presentations covering sustainability, climate change resilience, fuel alternatives, and circular economy opportunities. 

OceanWatch would like to congratulate all the winners of the National Seafood Industry Awards that were held on the final night of the conference. With a special mention to Geoff Blackburn Chair of the OceanWatch board who was inducted into the Seafood Industry Hall of Fame for the substantial positive difference he has made to the seafood industry, and Siobhan Threlfall who received the Young Achiever Award.  

The OceanWatch Master Fisherman program involves formal training and assessment for professional fishers and oyster growers, and supplementary development of online profiles to help demonstrate individual commitment to responsible practices. 
The OceanWatch Master Fisherman program is continuing to raise the standard of responsible fishing and aquaculture in Australia. Recognised OceanWatch Master Fisherman showcase the drive for sustainability and environmental awareness in the Australian seafood industry.

Learn more.
Johnny Kouvaris

Johnny  is a highly skilled second generation fisherman he has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Fisheries and has worked around the country in fisheries observer role with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.  In 2012 Johnny started working as a professional fisherman in the Marine Scalefish Fishery, taking after his Grandfather Jim Agrios. 

Learn more
Douglas Hackney

Douglas Hackney is a highly experienced fisherman who began professionally fishing in 1979. He began his career as a deckhand before creating his own business. Douglas loves the freedom in which fishing provides and the marine wildlife he gets to see on a daily basis.

Learn more. 

Get Involved and Do Your Bit

Tide to Tip 2023
It's the time of year that we begin to plan for our next set of Tide to Tip clean-up events. 
To date oyster farmers across 23 estuaries have joined together to removed over 30,000 kg of marine debris from our nations waterways! OceanWatch is looking to expand the event and involve more oyster farmers and communities across Australia for the 2022 events.
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved in the clean-ups visit our website or contact:
Recycle Unused Paint
Do you have unwanted/leftover paint lying around? Paintback takes unwanted paint and packaging and responsibly disposes of it, diverting it from landfill and vital waterways. Check out their animation which shows how unwanted paint can to be transformed into water, energy and more.

Learn more. 

In The News

New Plastic Bans From November 1

Plastic packaging and single-use plastic items make up around 60 per cent of all litter in NSW, which is why the NSW Government is banning more single-use items from November.
Lightweight single-use plastic bags were banned from 1 June, and from 1 November, the NSW Government is banning single-use items

  • plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds
  • food ware and cups made from expanded polystyrene
  • rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

Read more.

Concerning Projections of Ocean Warming

A recent study suggests that historic ocean warming is irreversible this century. The study looked at how oceans have warmed since the 1950s and future projects of warming. The results showed the upper 2000m of the oceans has been warming since at least the 1950s, the rate of warming has now accelerated and doubled into the 2010s. Due to it's size the Pacific is projected to be the largest heat reservoir, but when averaged across area the Southern and Atlantic Oceans are warming at a much faster rate. The results of this study can help to predict changes in our oceans into the future but it also raise serious concerns for our marine ecosystems. 

Learn more. 

Upcoming inquiry into Sea Urchin infestations

An inquiry is underway into the spread of climate-related marine invasive species, particularly long spined sea urchins (Centrostephanus rodgersii) along the Great Southern Reef, with particular reference to:

  • The existing body of research and knowledge on the risks for and damage to marine biodiversity, habitat and fisheries caused by the proliferation and range shifting of non-endemic long spined sea urchins;
  • Management options, challenges and opportunities to better mitigate or adapt to these threats, and governance measures that are inclusive of First Nations communities;
  • Funding requirements, responsibility, and pathways to better manage and co-ordinate stopping the spread of climate-related marine invasive species;
  • The importance of tackling the spread of invasive urchin ‘barrens’ to help facilitate marine ecosystem restoration efforts (such as for Tasmanian Giant Kelp Macrocystis pyrifera); and
  • Any other related matters.

The inquiry will hold hearings early next year and a report is due in March.

Learn more. 

Grants, Awards and Opportunities 

Environmental Education Grants

Grants of up to $250,000 for projects that develop knowledge and skills in protecting and restoring our environment. The Environmental Education program funds projects that develop, broaden and transform the community's knowledge, skills, and intrinsic motivation to engage in sustainable behaviour and encourage participation in protecting the environment.
Applications close 5 pm Monday 7 November 2022

Learn more.

Ghost Nets Innovative Solutions grants

The grants program is designed to support innovative and inspiring projects that will help address the ghost nets and marine debris problem across northern Australia. Grant amounts of between $30,000 and $400,000 (exc. GST) will be available for projects of up to 2 years duration.
Applications close 5 pm 5 December 2022

Learn more.

Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Climate Change Mitigation

The University of Sydney’s Sydney Environment Institute has an opportunity for a Postgraduate Research Scholarship in climate change mitigation available. Applications close 1 December.

Learn more.

"What's in your backyard?" photo competition

Landcare champion Costa Georgiadis is calling on Aussie kids to take part in the ‘What’s in your backyard?’ photo competition and share with him why their backyard is important to them. You can submit a photo as an individual or as a school or youth group. Competition closes 31 October 2022.
There are four themes around which you can submit your photo and build your knowledge and deeper connections to:

  • Biodiversity – birds, bees, insects, plants, flowers, trees and more!
  • Food production – your food garden may include vegetables, fruit and herbs
  • First Nations perspectives – bush tucker gardens, First Nations weather or your connection to Country
  • Waste management – this could be your worm farm, compost or recycling bins.

Learn more.

International Seaweed Symposium

Early registration is now open for the international Seaweed Symposium to be held for the first time in Australia.  It will take place in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia’s most southern state, from Sunday 19th to Friday 24th February 2023.

Learn more.

The Sunrise Project Small Grants program

An open application process for small grants of up to $5,000 for community groups working to hasten the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy or to protect Australia’s ecosystems from the negative impacts of the coal and gas industries. 

Learn more.

Wettenhall Environment Trust's Small Environmental Grant Scheme

Providing support for people undertaking projects that will make a positive difference to the natural living environment, in land, sea or air, rural or urban. Supports grassroots organisations and individuals, and academics who are working with on-ground community groups. Includes four rounds every year. Grants are usually $10,000 and focus on flora and fauna conservation or threatened mammal conservation.

Learn more.

Marine NRM Coastal Directory

The Marine NRM Coastal Directory is designed to connect people and skill sets reducing silos between disciplines. This free register, publicly available on the OceanWatch website, is an easy way to engage new colleagues and extend your network, helping to fuel the growth of Australia's blue-green innovations. Key information on Researchers, Natural Resource Management Agents, and Suppliers working in the marine environment, are now accessible in one place.

Create your account or search for others

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