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National Marine NRM News

August 2018
In This Edition:


 Fair Fish SA wins Delicious Produce Awards - Outstanding Innovation Award

The Fair Fish SA program has taken out the Outstanding Innovation Award at the 2018 Delicious Produce Awards. The program aims to reduce the gap between port to plate by connecting fishermen with their customers. 

A Community Supported Fishery (‘CSF’) is a grass roots, alternative business model for local fishermen to sell their seafood. They allow direct sales to local consumers and provide a facility that encourages community engagement and food traceability. The model allows consumers to purchase a share of the day’s catch directly from local fishermen through an online platform so that they can enjoy the benefits of premium produce from their clean environment. Learn more about the award winning program here.

Australia Marine Park Management Plans Introduced

After 10 years of consultation, reviews and negotiations, five new Marine Park Management Plans have been introduced by the Australian Government with an aim to strike a balance between sustainable use and protection of important habitats and features.

The Management Plans were subject to 5 unsuccessful disallowance motions in the Senate, with some arguing that the plans watered down protections in senstive marine areas. News of the failed disallowance motions was welcomed by Seafood Industry Australia.

To assist industries and communities transition to the new management arrangement, the Australian Government has announced an assistance package of $35m

Marine Park Facts:

Get Involved

The Australian Government has been working with stakeholders to develop a National Biosecurity Statement, and is seeking feedback. Currently there is no single, overarching national policy statement or strategy shared by all biosecurity system participants. A National Biosecurity Statement will present a common and unified approach to biosecurity by:
  • providing a national vision and goals for biosecurity
  • providing clarity on the roles & responsibilities of all participants
  • outlining priorities and principles for manageing biosecurity risk
To make a submission, please read the Draft National Biosecurity Statement here, and then complete the submission form here. More details can be found on the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources website. Submissions must be received by 31st October 2018.
Commonwealth fishers in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) are being asked to complete an audit of their fishing gear.  The audit will help understand how fishing capacity has changed over time and may even help with the stock assessment process. All SESSF fishers completing a 10-minute valid survey will be offered a BWS voucher (one per vessel!). Take the survey here.
Voting is open for the Australian Fish & Chips Awards 2018.  Last year’s competition reeled in over 100,000 votes from more than 800 stores. This year is bound to be bigger — with over 2,000 shops already registered to date. Voting is open until 16 September. Register your vote here.
Consultation is open on the structure and membership of the new South Australian Recreational Fishing Advisory Body. Consultation closes 21st September. Find out more here. 

In The News

Autonomous 'Rangerbot' delivers lethal injection to Crown of Thorns starfish on the Great Barrier Reef
A killer aquatic drone that can accurately identify and eliminate prey all by itself is about to be unleashed by the Queensland University of Technology. 

The ongoing collaboration between Google, QUT and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation uses computer vision and machine learning to identify the destructive echinoderms and injecting them with a lethal dose of poison.

RangerBot is the world’s first underwater robotic system designed specifically for coral reef environments, using only robot-vision for real-time navigation, obstacle avoidance and complex science missions,” QUT robotics professor Matthew Dunbabin said. Find out more here.

Release of the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-2028
The NSW Government has committed $45.7 million in funding to deliver the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy, which outlines nine initiatives to address the priority threats to the state’s oceans, wetlands, coastline and coastal lakes and lagoons - known as our ‘marine estate’. 

Stage 1 will focus on addressing the priority threats to our big blue backyard; pollution, habitat loss and climate change. It will also aim to deliver sustainable land use, protection of Aboriginal cultural values of the marine estate, reduced impacts on marine life, enhanced social, cultural and economic benefits and effective governance. 

Successful implementation of the Strategy will need ongoing input and support from community, industry and government to ensure that our coastline, beaches and estuaries can be enjoyed by NSW residents and visitors for generations to come.

The final Strategy can be downloaded here. For more information on how you can be involved please email 
90% reduction in seabird interactions with commercial fishing industry

A research project led by the commercial fishing industry has resulted in a 90% reduction in seabird interactions during trials. Two experimental devices, a bird baffler and a water sprayer, were trialed on board trawl fishing vessels working off the coast of Victoria & NSW, to see which was more effective at stopping seabirds from interacting with trawl fishing gear. Simon Boag, Executive Officer of the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA) said "both experimental mitigation devices showed significant reductions in the number of seabird interactions with the cables that tow the trawl net." Read more here.
A new marine park proposed for the Hawkesbury Shelf marine bioregion
The NSW Government is proposing a new marine park comprising of 25 separate sites in the Newcastle to Shellharbour region. The proposed new park will complement the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-2028  initiatives to be rolled out in the bioregion. The proposal has been informed by extensive community consultation in the region from 2015 to 2017.

A detailed two-part discussion paper has been released and your comments are sought on the 25 sites, the management changes proposed at each site, and/or the benefits and costs to your activities, community or industry.

A series of community drop-in information sessions will be held in the Newcastle to Wollongong region during the consultation period, with a schedule available here. Have your say on the marine park proposal by making a submission online by 27 September 2018. Visit for more information. 
New video series to connect consumers with fishermen & farmers
As part of the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program this year, participants are developing a series of videos to connect consumers with seafood producers. Meet Ash Lukin of Spencer Gulf King Prawns in the video below.
Recreational boat operators' self-management of biofouling in Australia 
A recently released report presents key results from a national survey of 1,585 recreational boat operators about their vessel biofouling management actions. 

The study found that a large proportion of recreational boat operators undertake a range of effective biofouling management actions on a regular basis, with more than 60% using best-practice approaches, such as 
regularly cleaning the boat hull and niche areas of the boat, renewing anti-fouling coatings each year, and capturing biofouling waste after cleaning. Close to 70% also said they would be likely to capture and dispose of biofouling waste in the future.
The survey however found only a small contingent were cleaning their boats before moving to another location - the most effective action that domestic boaters can take to reduce vessel biofouling. The majority of respondents were interested in engaging in more biofouling practices and had considerable interest in doing the right thing to protect the environment. You can find out more here.
South Australian Government release 'Bait & Burley Guidelines' to keep SA free from aquatic diseases
The South Australian Government has released a short set of bait & burley guidelines to help protect South Australia from Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) and White Spot Disease. You can read the guidelines here.
'Seahorse hotels' bring an endangered species back from the edge of extinction

One of the largest concentrations of white seahorses in the world was once found at Port Stephens on the NSW coast, until wild storm seasons from 2010 to 2013 destroyed habitat and almost destroyed the population. Now, NSW DPI (Fisheries) has introduced articifial habitat consisting of a chicken wire cage, and after just six months underwater, the seahorse hotels are yielding positive results. Read more here.
Can the ocean feed a growing world?
If current population trends continue, experts estimate the world will need to double food production by 2050, and those same experts say fish are the answer. “We're running out of options on land,” says Vera Agostini from the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. “There's only so much we can take from the planet, so fisheries and aquaculture will be critical.” Read this National Geographic article here.
Blooms, blobs & stingers: submerged in the world of jellyfish
An interesting article on jellyfish, and their ability to take over disturbed ecosystems. As the author says, "the rise in jellyfish numbers suggests that these simple organisms are winning the climate change battle, particularly against their jawed adversaries.... Jellyfish are the last man standing".
The weird, wonderful and worrying world of sea snakes
The mysterious world of sea-snakes. A recent decline of sea snakes off the coast of Western Australia has researchers worried. Read more here.
Would you fly 11 hours for fish & chips?

Imagine flying 11 hours from Shanghai to London, only to eat lunch at a highway fish & chip shop. Such are the travel habits of Chinese tourists, who every now and then go viral with their bewildering tourism decisions. Scotts Fish and Chips in the UK is a surprising interantional drawcard, attracting hundreds of Chinese travellers a week, dropped off by the coachload on tours from London to Yorkshire.

The well-reviewed restaurant located south of York on the A64 dual carriageway, next to an overpass and a McDonalds, is visited by so many Chinese visitors that the restaurant has translated its menu into Mandarin and Cantonese. Read more here.

Grants & Awards

A $55,000 scholarship is available for someone working in fisheries to undertake the iconic Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) Course 26. Applications close 30th September. Click here for more details.
The Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC) are seeking Expressions of Interest for delivery of a number a projects. Click here for more details. 
The Victorian Fisheries Authority are offering 50 fishing clubs the opportunity to receive a $2000 Gone Fishing Day grant. The funding will help community groups, Landcare groups & schools to run their own Gone Fishing Day events on Sunday 14th October. Click here for more details.
Applications are open for the 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award. Emerging female leaaders who want to create impact, innovate and make a different to rural and regioanl Australia are encouraged to apply. Applications close 31st October. Click here for more details. 
The Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community (WINSC) and the Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC) are providing the opportunity for 9 young women under the age of 35 to attend a WINSC workshop and 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner. The bursaries are targeted to those working in all aspects of the seafood industry including wild catch, aquaculture, research and the seafood supply chain. WINSC Directors will mentor the successful candidates during the visit. Applications close 6th September. Find out more here.
Angling clubs, individuals, community groups, local councils and organisations interested in rehabilitating fish habitats in freshwater and saltwater areas throughout NSW can apply for a Habitat Action Grant. Small grants of $2,000 or large grants of up to $40,000 are available. Applications close 21 September. More details here.

Diary Dates

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