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National Marine NRM News

June 2019
In This Edition:



Emerging leaders explore the challenges facing the world’s oceans

In May, OceanWatch Australia welcomed Australia Awards students from Africa -  30 African fisheries staff from 11 countries: Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda.

The group took a tour of the Sydney Fish Markets and then sat down to a presentation from OceanWatch Australia's CEO Lowri Pryce, Program Manager for the Environment, Simon Rowe and Program Manager for Wild Catch Fisheries, Michael Wooden.
The group were very impressed with an NGO that works on behalf of the fishers.

Read more on the UOW website.

Get Involved & Do Your Bit

Marine Pest Education & Awareness Materials

Awareness & education materials form essential elements of passive surveillance for the detection of marine pests and maintaining Australian marine biosecurity. Government, NGOs, industry and other agencies have produced marine pest awareness materials for various purposes in the past. This includes information brochures, identification guides, signage for boat
ramps, educational videos and a variety of other resources. These materials are located in disparate locations and are not always readily accessible or available for public use.

We are building a comprehensive database of marine pest education and awareness resources which will be searchable via an online database on the OceanWatch Australia website. If you have any Marine Pest materials or would like to enquire about this project please contact 


Spot, Log, Map with Redmap

Redmap stands for Range Extension Database and Mapping project. This project invites Australians to share sightings of marine species that are ‘uncommon’ to their local seas. Over time, Redmap will use this ‘citizen science’ data to map which Australian marine species may be extending their distribution range – a.k.a moving house - in response to changes in the marine environment, such as ocean warming.

Redmap members use their knowledge of the seas to help monitor Australia’s vast coastline. The citizen science data also highlights regions and species that may be experiencing more  distribution changes,  so that research can be focused into these areas.  

Redmap is interested in your sightings of marine species that are not usually found at your local beach, fishing, diving, or swimming spot. 

Ways to get involved:

– Seen something fishy? Log on and report any uncommon marine life listed on Redmap 
– Tell your mates about Redmap
– Be a 'marine idol' and give a talk at your local fishing, diving, or other community club about Redmap and its latest findings. We have powerpoint slides already prepared for you, as well as flyers, stickers and booklets
– Like us on Redmap Australia's Facebook page, share our posts and join in the conversations with us
– Live in a regional area that may be off our 'map'? Help us spread the word. We can send you flyers and stickers to distribute in your community. Fishing and diving shops are usually pretty happy to help get the word out but we also have flyers and stickers in cafés, surf shops, tourist info centres and all sorts of places!
– Go to to learn more and to become familiar with the Redmap species list. Get to know your local marine species!
– Bookmark Redmap and keep up to date with the who's where of marine species
- Are you part of a fishing, diving, naturalist or community club? Let us know when you have events and functions - maybe we can help out with a raffle prize or two (depends on how flash with cash we are - but it is worth asking us)

Learn more about Redmap here. 

In The News

The Local Catch: Reducing waste, transparency in business and giving local fishermen a fair go: how two WA fishmongers are changing the way we eat seafood.

"A major area of focus for Fins is improving the traceability of products. In late 2018, Cordin and Clark implemented a unique tagging system that not only tells buyers what type of fish they’re purchasing, but where it comes from, the name of the vessel it was caught on and the name of the fisher. This allows chefs and other wholesalers to tell their customers a more thorough ocean-to-plate story. But perhaps more importantly, a tagging system that champions fishers also promotes individuals in the supply chain that haven’t always been given a fair go."

Read the article on Broadsheet. 

Fish without the fingers — children encouraged to get over ick factor

The Professional Fishermen's Association has embarked on a new program to get consumers eating more fresh and local fish by appealing to those more accustomed to their fish coming in rectangular "fingers", than fresh off the boat.

They recently received funding from the NSW State Government and chose to put part of the funds into an education program for school children, which sees them visit the Coffs Harbour Fishermen's Co-op to see and touch the daily catch, and learn how it's caught.

Read more on The ABC Coffs Coast. 

Critically endangered Bellinger River snapping turtle makes a comeback


The release of 10 critically endangered turtles back into the only place they are found on Earth has helped to secure the species' future.

Over 90 per cent of the turtle's population of approximately 4,500 was wiped out in 2015 due to a virus outbreak. The program to help the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle is part of the NSW Government's $100 million Saving our Species Fund.

New South Wales Environment Minister Matt Kean said it has provided a lifeline for the Bellinger River snapping turtle — one of the world's rarest turtle species, after a freak virus wiped out about 90 per cent of the population in three months.

"Before the disease outbreak, we estimate there were up to 4,500 of these freshwater turtles living in the Bellinger Catchment — the only place they're found on Earth," Mr Kean said.

"About 20 virus-free turtles were able to be collected from the river for a captive breeding program at Taronga Zoo in an effort to try to secure a future for this species and improve the environment for our future generations."

Read more here
Image Credit: Taronga Zoo, Paul Fahy, sourced via The ABC



Mysteries of pristine Kimberley wilderness are being unravelled at last.

The natural mysteries of the Kimberley, one of Australia's last pristine habitats, have been documented like never before thanks to a collaborative project between scientists and local Indigenous groups.

"Now, we have a new base with scientific information and traditional knowledge combined and we need to take that forward." says Kelly Waples from the WA Marine Science Institution.


Read the full article on The ABC.

Grants & Awards

Communities Environment Program
Communities Environment Program

Communities Environment Program

The Australian Government will invest more than $22 million in 2019-20 to deliver a wide range of on-ground projects that conserve, protect and sustainably manage our environment.

Under the Communities Environment Program, each federal electorate can receive up to $150,000 in grant funding for small-scale, community-led projects nominated by the local Member of Parliament in consultation with the community will focus on environmental priorities such as:

  • waste and litter reduction
  • protecting native animals, including our threatened species
  • addressing weeds and pest animals
  • restoring and improving coasts, wetlands, riverbanks and waterways
  • greening parks and urban areas.
Read more and apply here.

NSW OEH Coastal & Estuary Grants Program

These grants support local government in managing the risks from coastal hazards, such as coastal erosion, restoring degraded coastal habitats or improving the health of NSW estuaries, wetlands and littoral rainforests.

Click here for more information.

Nuffield Scholarships 2020

Applications are open for the 2020 Nuffield Scholarship program with more than 25 Nuffield Scholarships on offer, each valued at $30,000. The benefit of the scholarship includes: 
  • The opportunity to research a topic that the scholar believes will add value to the Australian seafood or agricultural industry.
  • Become a member of Nuffield Australia to promote the seafood industry and related issues.
  • Become a member of a worldwide network of more than 1,500 Nuffield Scholars
Applications close June 14. More information here. 


Diary Dates

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