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National Marine NRM News 

May 2021
In This Edition:


Calling professional fishers and seafood retailers
OceanWatch is working on the Engagement for Success project (funded by FRDC) with the University of Wollongong and the NSW Professional Fishers Association. The objective of the project is to gain a better understanding of community engagement with the seafood industry through surveying community members, fishermen, and retailers. This will help us to identify the most effective ways to communicate with the community. 

We are seeking the help of professional fishers and seafood retailers to complete the survey who may have observed changes in attitude toward professional fishing or purchasing trends as a result of events or promotions. Please let us know your thoughts by participating in our two-minute survey. 

Your answers would be very valuable for this project. 
If you are a fisherman  take part in the survey here.  
If you are an oyster farmer take part in the survey here.
If you are a seafood retailer take part in the survey here.

Bushfire Recovery on Kangaroo Island
In recent weeks Simon and Claudia from OceanWatch travelled to Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia as part of our bushfire recovery project. Kangaroo Island was severely impacted by the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires with approximately 38% of the island burnt by fire. 

Claudia has been working to record bushfire impacts on aquatic environments observed by people living and working in bushfire affected areas. The trip to Kangaroo Island helped to collect valuable information on those impacts.

OceanWatch is continuing to collect observations through a survey of impacts of bushfires to aquatic wildlife and habitats, any details you can provide would be greatly appreciated. The survey can be found here.

Learn more about the project here
Meet our new Program Manager for  Aquaculture
Meet...Laura Stoltenberg, the new Program Manager for Aquaculture. Laura has a background in marine biology and environmental science, recently completing her PhD degree from Southern Cross University, where her research focused on coral reef metabolism and impacts of ocean acidification on reef sediment dissolution. Laura is taking over the role from Andy Myers, who is leaving his position at OceanWatch after 12 years to embark on a new journey at Blue Harvest. 
During his time at OceanWatch Andy worked closely with the oyster industry, tapping into the vast knowledge and experience that sits with seafood producers. Amongst the many initiatives Andy has worked on, he has also served as the NSW Oyster Extension Officer, and Executive Officer for Oysters Australia. In 2019 he received an award for Outstanding Service to the NSW Oyster industry. Andy has been an invaluable part of OceanWatch, his dedication and passion for the position will be greatly missed. Andy will continue to serve in his role as Executive Officer for Oysters Australia. 

Laura officially starts in her role in June, but she has already been out and about with Andy meeting many of the NSW oyster growers. She is keen to combine her academic background with her desire for positive impact to continue to improve the sustainability of the oyster industry in close collaboration with farmers and local communities. 
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. 
The OceanWatch Master Fisherman program is continuing to raise the standard of responsible fishing in Australia. Recognised professional fishermen showcase the drive for sustainability and environmental awareness in the Australian seafood industry.

Learn more.
Reece Chapman

Reece is a professional fisherman endorsed to fish in the NSW Estuary General Fishery, based out of the Forster area. He became a professional fisherman in 1986. Reece’s fresh catch is available at the Wallis Lake Fishermen’s Coop.

Reece is proud to be recognised as an OceanWatch Master Fisherman, responsibly and sustainably harvesting local seafood for seafood consumers.

Learn more
Scott Massey
Scott is a 6th generation professional fisherman based out of Berkeley on the NSW South Coast, near Wollongong. Scott fishes mainly in Lake Illawarra and from south coast beaches in the NSW Estuary General Fishery and the NSW Ocean Haul Fishery.

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

Learn more

Get Involved

South East Queensland NRM Survey
A new survey was launched this month on the environment and liveability of South East Queensland. The survey will help to identify challenges and priority actions to protect and restore the region’s natural assets (e.g. air, water, soil, and native vegetation). The collated data from the survey will be used to help jointly plan collaborative strategies and actions which produce benefits for the whole community and a desirable future of the region.

By completing the survey you will have the chance to win one of four $250 vouchers. 

Find the survey here.
Ocean Decade Australia Stakeholder Briefing
On Tuesday 22 June, the second Ocean Decade Australia stakeholder briefing will be help at Questacon, Canberra. The hybrid event will be both in person and streamed live online and follows on from the initial stakeholder briefing event held at the Australian National Maritime Museum.  The event will explore topics surrounding how Australia's ocean stakeholders will measure success for a sustainable future. 

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 here.  

In The News

New Threatened Species Strategy Launched
The new 10-year Strategy builds on the momentum of the first Strategy launched in 2015. It sets a clear vision to drive practical on-ground action; identifies key action areas that are fundamental to the recovery of threatened species and ecological communities; and establishes principles for identifying priority threatened species and places to focus Australian Government effort.

Released on 21 May 2021, the new Strategy was prepared in consultation with the Australian community. The first 5 year action plan is being developed over the next months

Find out more 
SIA builds trust in brand Australia through seafood traceability initiative
Seafood Industry Australia has been awarded a $267,000 Australian Government grant to strengthen consumer assurances in our premium seafood products.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud and Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonathon Duniam said the investment would boost export opportunities through enhanced traceability.

“With this funding, Seafood Industry Australia will develop a closed loop ‘trust mark’; a visually recognisable label for packaging that can be scanned with a smartphone, like a QR code,” Minister Littleproud explained.

“This will indicate to consumers that the product they’re buying is 100 per cent traceable, Australian seafood, which they can verify digitally.”

Read more here. 
2021-22 Federal Budget: Fisheries a Winner
The Morrison government has committed $20.1 million towards Commonwealth Fisheries in the 2021-22 Federal Budget. The  package includes $9.95 million towards an e-Fish initiative,  $10.1 million for e-Monitoring program, and a $900,000 commitment to extending the ‘Tuna Champions’ program. This comes just after the Morrison Government announced an investment of $100 million towards protecting our oceans. 

Find out more here.

Grants, Awards and Opportunities 

Eat More NSW Seafood Program

The Eat More NSW Seafood 2021 grants program is designed to build marketing and promotion capability within seafood businesses through small-scale (less than $10,000 excluding GST) and large-scale ($10,000 to $100,000 excluding GST) grants. The purpose of the campaign is to increase consumption of NSW seafood, drive the value of NSW seafood through increased awareness and consumption, and build industry capabilities and cohesiveness.
Applications close 5pm on Wednesday 30 June 2021.

Learn more.

Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science

Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science are now open for applications. The awards are inviting candidates who distinguished themselves in the categories of Science Outreach or Scientific Achievement.

Applications close on 20 June 2021 and prizes are both monetary and career advancing. 

Learn more.

The Sunrise Project Small Grants

Open application process for small grants (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.

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.

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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