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National Marine NRM News 

March 2021
In This Edition:


Flood Recovery of Oyster Industry Equipment
The March 2021 floods have had a devastating impact on the NSW oyster industry.
Should anyone in the community come across anything they suspect as oyster growing gear, farmers would be very grateful if you could please follow the regional advice below so that gear can to be returned to its rightful owner.
  • South West Rocks (Macleay River) - Contact Todd Graham on 0431353717 to organise collection
  • Port Macquarie (Hastings River) - Please drop off equipment at the car park by Oxley Oval (behind Oxley Beach). Local oyster farmers will pick-up regularly from this location
  • Laurieton (Camden Haven) - Please drop off equipment at the car park by Laurieton Oval. Local oyster farmers will pick-up regularly from this location.
  • Barrington Coast (Crowdy Head) - Please drop off equipment near Crowdy Head Surf Club. Local oyster farmers will pick-up regularly from this location.
  • Barrington Coast (Harrington) - Please drop off equipment near the Marine Rescue building at Harrington. Local oyster farmers will pick-up regularly from this location.
​If you are located outside of the regions listed, please contact the NSW Oyster Industry Extension Officer, Andy Myers on 0488656366 or, and he will coordinate with local growers for collection. Below are images of commonly used oyster growing equipment to help with identification.

Find out more.

Whale Entanglement Workshop
OceanWatch held a Whale Entanglement Mitigation workshop at Sydney Fish Market last Friday. This was part of the East Coast Whale Entanglement Mitigation Program, initiated in NSW to respond to issues associated with whale entanglements. In attendance were professional fishers from the NSW ocean trap and line fishery, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW DPI, OceanWatch and the Professional Fisher's Association of NSW.

The workshop encouraged attendees to discuss the outcomes of initial gear trials, and identify and prioritise future actions to help minimise whale entanglement. It was great to have the knowledge and experience of professional fishers in the process, demonstrating a commitment to drive a reduction in whale entanglements on the NSW east coast. 

This Program is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and the Australian Government Marine Park Fisheries Assistance Extension Program.

Learn more about the program here.

Tide to Tip
The 2021 Tide to Tip was a great success this year. Over 3 weeks of February 250+ volunteers, including 192 oyster farmers came together to clean-up 19 estuaries across NSW and QLD.  Collectively 10.5 tonnes of marine debris was removed from our waterways with 760 volunteer hours dedicated to the initiative. 

It was great to see more community groups, councils, local government and business  get involved this year, helping to keep our valuable estuaries clean. 

Thanks to all involved who helped achieve this great result, we look forward to seeing you all again at next years' events.

Learn more.
The OceanWatch Master Fisherman program involves formal training and assessment for professional fishers, and supplementary development of online fisher profiles to help demonstrate individual commitment to responsible fishing practices. 
More than 135 professional fisherman across NSW have participated in the program. The program is now expanding interstate and will initially focus on 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.
Ian Perry

Ian started fishing as a deckhand for his father in 1986 working out of Newcastle before becoming the skipper of the vessel two years later. Ian brought the vessel from his father in 1991 continuing the family tradition being a fourth generation fishermen.

Ian moved to the Coffs Coast for his wife Celina. He owned various vessels with the Aquarius Prawn Trawler being the latest. He spends many nights out on the boat trying to bring in the freshest & highest quality prawns for locals to enjoy. Ian’s fresh catch is available at the Coffs Harbour Fishermen’s Co-Op.

Learn more
Joe Bagnato
Joe is the third generation of the Bagnato’s fishermen family. After working five years as a manager for De Costi Seafoods at the Sydney Fish Market, he decided to open his own fresh fish & chips restaurant.

Since 2012, he has been working as a commercial fisherman on the Hawkesbury River. His boat’s name is Sal-Maree.

Joe is a recognised OceanWatch Master Fisherman, trained and experienced in responsible and sustainable fishing practices.

Learn more

Get Involved

ANMM Ocean Awareness Survey
The Australian National Maritime Museum is planning an upcoming exhibition and would like your help in the design and development. The short survey should only take 5 minutes and will help them understand general awareness on certain topics to ensure we develop an exhibition that is relevant to their customers.

Find the survey here. 
New Redmap App Update
Redmap have launched a new updated app for you to submit your sightings of any unusual marine critters you encounter in the water. 
These sightings help to document the changing distribution of marine species around Australia.

Find out more here.
OceanWatch Bushfire Survey
OceanWatch Australia is currently collecting observations of impacts of bushfires to aquatic wildlife and habitats (e.g. wetlands, rivers, estuaries, coasts, open waters), as well as impacts to social/economic activities reliant on aquatic environments, through an online survey. We invite everyone to participate, and please share it with your colleagues and friends. The more results we collect, the greater our understanding of these issues, and the more information we will have to guide bushfire recovery intervention in the future. Completion should take around 10 mins. If you complete the survey, you might win a gift voucher to the value of $50. Thank you very much in advance for your help and support.

Find the survey 

In The News

Bans on Single Use Plastics
South Australia's single use plastics ban came into effect at the start of this month, preventing the sale, supply and distribution of single use drinking straws, stirrers and cutlery. This is only the first step of the legislation, with more products set to be banned in the next year. Read more. 

Other states are now joining the fight against single use plastic, with Victoria and Queensland both announcing similar bans in recent weeks. This comes as the Federal Government announced their National Plastic Plan, which outlines their approach to increase plastic recycling, find alternatives to unnecessary plastics and reduce the impact of plastic on the environment. 

Learn more about the
National Plastic Plan.

Grants, Awards and Opportunities 

Community Resilience Grants

As part of the Stay Afloat Pilot Program 35 Community Resilience Grants are available to support events that encourage commercial seafood communities nationwide to come together in a supportive setting to raise awareness of mental health and the benefits of overall wellbeing.

Learn more.

2021 National Seafood Industry Leadership Program

Applications for the 2021 NSILP are now open. The National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP) is the only national industry-specific leadership program designed in consultation with seafood industry people for people wishing to take up leadership roles within the seafood industry.

Apply here.

2021 World Fisheries Congress Registrations Open

The World Fisheries Congress 2021 will be held in Adelaide from 20-24 September 2021. The Congress will be a hybrid event allowing delegates to participate both in person or online, so the Congress can continue to connect the global fisheries and aquaculture community.

Learn more here.

Get Listed on the Oyster Finder

To support NSW oyster sales during a difficult time for the seafood industry, an online directory of oyster farms & oyster retailers has been developed. The directory is available here.  This searchable map will help customers find oysters, users are able to filter their searches by: 
•    oyster farms
•    farms offering shed gate sales
•    those offering mail orders
•    those offering home delivery
•    those offering tourism experiences 
Get listed by entering your details

Learn more here


Master Fisherman Seafood Directory

To support NSW OceanWatch Master Fisherman’s seafood sales, an online directory of Master Fisherman's retailers has been created. This searchable map will help potential customers find Master Fisherman’s products.  You can find the directory on the Master Fisherman website homepage.

If you have any questions or would like to be added to the directory, please contact Claire Denamur on 0427 883 018 or email

Related Newsletters & Links

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OceanWatch Australia · Locked Bag 247 · Pyrmont, New South Wales 2009 · Australia