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National Marine NRM News 

September 2022
In This Edition:


Shoalhaven Bushfire Resilience Tours
OceanWatch held the final bushfire resilience tour along the Shoalhaven River in mid-August. The tour allowed for participants to journey along the river to see and discuss the impacts of bushfires on the aquatic habitat and estuary ecology.

Local Jerrinja tribe leaders welcomed participants and discussed the impacts of bushfires on cultural practices and food gathering. Examples of local environmental recovery projects were presented by OceanWatch, local council and RiverWatch. The tour finished with a visit to the Greenwell Point Oyster farms, where participants enjoyed the taste of south coast oysters whilst learning about the ongoing impacts of the bushfires and subsequent flooding on local industry. 

This is a Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund project through the joint Commonwealth/State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. Although funding for this video has been provided by both the Australian and NSW Governments, the material contained herein does not necessarily represent the views of either government.

Find out more about our bushfire recovery work
Celebrating the OceanWatch Master Fisherman SA
Recent SA Master Fisherman graduates from the Lakes and Coorong and Marine Scalefish fisheries were recognised for their commitment to environmental best practice. The event held at Fishbank Adelaide gave attendees an opportunity to learn more about how these Master Fisherman implement environmental best practice into their day-to-day operations. This included interviews with OceanWatch and fishermen on fishing methods and how they maximise the quality of their product. We also partnered with Si Sea in Adelaide who have featured Master Fisherman products as their sustainable seafood specials for the past two weeks. 

A number of these Master Fisherman have also been showcased on the Fishtales Seafood Podcast with John Susman,
listen here

Learn more about the
Master Fisherman Program.

This project is supported by OceanWatch Australia, through funding from the Australian Government.
National Landcare Conference
The National Landcare Conference was held recently at the ICC in Sydney with 500 Landcarer's in attendance and an even larger audience online. Landcare champion and ABC TV presenter Costa Georgiadis was MC for the event and led attendees through the diversity of topics from Farming and Emerging Environmental Markets, to Environment and Climate Change, and First Nations Landcare amongst other topics. The conference kicked off with a series of field trips that looked at examples of Landcare in action across the Sydney and Central Coast regions. 

OceanWatch's Claudia Santori presented on our post-bushfire mangrove recovery efforts on the NSW south coast, through which we have been restoring areas of damaged mangrove habitats in the Clyde and Wonboyn Rivers. 

You can catch up on any of the talks you missed
Reality of Pollution in Cooks River
Kayaking the sickest urban river in Australia
Meet Beau Miles, story teller, film maker, thinker and adventurer. His latest video takes him on a journey along the cooks river , showcasing the startling reality of the pollution problem that is choking this river system.  

Check out his video

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.
Neil Green

Neil Green is an experienced 2nd generation professional fisherman who began fishing in 1976.  Neil began his career as a deckhand within his father’s business. He loves the satisfaction and recognition he receives from supplying fresh, quality seafood to his customers. He very much enjoys working with the versatility of the marine environment.

Learn more
John Smythe

John is an experienced fisherman and diver, who began professionally fishing in 1975. John dives the New South Wales south coast, on his 5.2m seydel craft – ‘Jarini’  using hookah fishing methods. John loves the freedom of working for himself and the wildlife encounters.

Learn more. 

Get Involved

Ocean Impact Pitchfest
Applications are now open for The Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2022. This is a global initiative to discover, support and accelerate startups working on transformative solutions to improve ocean health.  The winner receives a $50,000 cash prize, applications close 20th September 2022. 
Fishing Industry Leadership & Representation Training -AVAILABLE 
Fishing Industry Leadership Training is now available to all within the seafood industry. Through a project funded by the Australian Government and a collaboration between the Professional Fishers Association, Seafood Industry Victoria, Wildcaught SA and the Australian Maritime & Fisheries Academy a comprehensive online learning tool has been developed. It is essential for fishers to be able to engage with Fisheries Agencies to better contribute towards fisheries management decision making.  This is why it is critical for our Industry to have the tools it needs to better participate and engage in the management of our fisheries.  

Training is a free, self-paced online system made by fishers to help fishers.  The training focuses on:
  • Effective communication
  • Meeting processes
  • Technology knowledge
  • Decision making
  • Identifying opportunities for involvement
  • Community engagement and social license to operate
  • Business and Community stakeholder values
  • Finding common ground
If you are interested in enrolling into the Training click here and enter your name, email address, phone number. You will then receive an email with your login details to start your course.
If you have any questions, please email:
Coastal & Marine Environments Flood Damage Survey
Following the most recent flooding events on the east coast, OceanWatch is determined to find out where and what damage or dangers to aquatic habitats exist across our seascape so that we can forward on such information to relevant organisations with abilities to act.
If you are out and about, tell us what you have seen. We are also interested in observations below the water where all things eventually sink and impact seafood harvesting and marine productivity.
Take part in the survey here

In The News

Redmap Australia Decadal Report Card

Redmap (Range Extension Database and Mapping Project) use citizen science data to map which Australian marine species may be extending their distribution range. They have recently released their Australia-wide Report Card and detailed state report cards that show what species Australia's fishers and divers have spotted on the move over the past decade. The report card provides a map of 77 species shifts across Australia.

Read more.

$9.1 million Sydney Harbour Restoration Project

One of the largest harbour restoration projects of its kind in the world is set to commence in the iconic Sydney Harbour to reforest and restore marine habitats for penguins, seals, seahorses and turtles. Minister for Environment James Griffin said a $9.1 million NSW Government initiative will help restore Sydney Harbour to bring back lost biodiversity, improve water quality and increase carbon storage.
The NSW Government's $9.1 million Seabirds to Seascapes project includes 3 elements:

  • restoring Sydney Harbour's marine ecosystems by installing Living Seawalls, and replanting seagrass meadows and kelp forests
  • supporting the future of little penguins in New South Wales by conducting the first ever statewide little penguin census to better understand their population size and how they're responding to threats such as climate change
  • helping fur seals thrive as a species by conducting a seal survey to identify their preferred habitat, breeding grounds, diet and key threats
SIA begin research into alternative fuels

As escalating diesel prices see a growing number of boats tied up at ports all around the world, Seafood Industry Australia’s (SIA’s) current research into alternative fuels is tackling this increasingly urgent issue for our wild-catch seafood and aquaculture vessel fleets. 

The ‘Climate Resilient Wild Catch Fisheries’ project is funded by FRDC, with Austral Fisheries, Blue-X and Sunshot Industries as research partners, and Tom Cosentino as Project Manager. 

The initial impetus for the project was addressing growing consumer expectations about industry action to mitigate climate change. But with diesel prices reaching $2.50 a litre in July 2022 there is now an added economic impetus, as fishing becomes too costly for some operators. 

Read more. 

White Spot Disease Detected in NSW

The presence of White Spot has been confirmed in an enclosed prawn facility in the north of NSW by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.
White Spot is a highly contagious viral infection that affects crustaceans and can cause major mortalities in farmed prawns.
At this stage there is no indication White Spot has spread beyond the affected prawn farm. NSW DPI has confirmed biosecurity containment measures continue to be maintained to prevent further spread. It is not yet known how White Spot entered the facility and this is being investigated.
NSW DPI is working closely with the affected farm, local industry, community and other state and federal jurisdictions, to ensure containment and complete surveillance activities in wild prawns in the area.

Learn more. 

Fish Passage Remediation
Check out the video below showing a great example of fish passage remediation targeting small bodied NZ fish species. 
The fixes address:
  • The perched apron
  • The perched culvert outlet
  • Shallowing of the apron
  • Fast laminar flow within the culvert
Note: This culvert should have been embedded to both retain bed material and allow good fish passage.

If you want to be a part of the Fish-Passage Email Group, sign up here

Grants, Awards and Opportunities 

Queensland Threatened Species Recovery Grants

Applications are now open for Round 7: Queensland Threatened Species Recovery of the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grants program. 
Funding will be provided to eligible recipients for on-ground projects that protect and benefit Queensland’s threatened flora and fauna species in the wild. Grants of up to $25,000 (excluding GST) are available, applications close at 4pm on Thursday 6 October 2022.


Learn more.

PhD Opportunity: Defence Research Project

The University of the Sunshine Coast, in partnership with the Australian Government and the Northern Territory Government Fisheries Division, is recruiting a PhD candidate to conduct research on larval biology and the effect of biocides on the biofouling oyster Planostrea pestigris.

Learn more.

Senior Scientist (Aquatic Ecologist) Position Available

This role will lead the Water Science, Aquatic Ecology Mackay team in the Northern Region, and provide professional leadership, management, and direction for the activities associated with the delivery of high quality technical and scientific advice. These activities will ultimately inform regional, departmental and Queensland Government priorities for natural resource management.

Learn more.

MSC Project Manager Opportunity, Western Central Pacific Tuna

The MSC is currently recruiting for someone who can help shape and deliver their WCPO tuna strategy. Working with colleagues from various MSC departments and with key external partners/stakeholders the role will;

  • maintain and strengthen the project strategy
  • implement project management and planning tools
  • develop resource materials in collaboration with MSC colleagues and external partners/consultants including:
    • A stakeholder mapping resource tool
    • A cost-benefit analysis of MSC certification
    • An interactive timeline of the project.
  • establish robust reporting and tracking tools.

Learn more.

Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Grants

The Environmental Trust's  Environmental-restoration-and-rehabilitation grants program is currently open for applications under the 2022–23 round, closing 5 pm Monday 10 October 22. The Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation program funds projects that contribute to the ongoing sustainable management and stewardship of significant environmental assets and services in New South Wales. 
Grants of up to $200,000 are available for projects that achieve long-term outcomes for the NSW environment.

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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