Save Our Marine Life launch guide to make a Submission on SW Marine Sanctuaries

For all you scientists and ocean lovers out there, if you want to make a more detailed submission on the draft South West marine parks plan Save Our Marine Life has put some new support resources online.

There is a detail science analysis of the gaps in the proposed marine parks, and also an easy read submission guide that shows how to make a submission, and includes an overview of the science analysis and key social, economic and scientific facts about marine sanctuaries.

With only 2 out of 10 critical biodiversity hotspots in the unique southwest region proposed for protection – it is very important that people make their concerns about the Government’s proposal heard.

You can download these resources at www.saveourmarinelife.org.au/science.

Remember you can also make a quick online comment at www.saveourmarinelife.org.au/map-out-our-marine-lifes-future

 

 

 

Post of the Month: Threatened Australian Sea Lions Unprotected in Proposed Government Sanctuaries Plan

This month’s post of the month as decided by number of readers was: Threatened Australian Sea Lions Unprotected in Proposed Government Sanctuaries Plan.

With just over a month to go in the public consultation period for the draft marine sanctuaries for Australia’s South West, the lack of protection of key Australian Sea Lion habitat despite more than 256 sea lions a year dying in fishing nets has hit a cord with readers.

You can find out more about the campaign for marine sanctuaries in the South West, and take action online, at Save Our Marine Life.

There are also online petitions you can sign at CCWA and Care2.

You can discover the amazing marine life and underwater world of the South West in the online flip book Atlantis Found.

Note you can subscribe to the Happy Squid blog by email via the box at the top of the right hand column of this page or follow me on Twitter (@Happy_Squid).

Welcome to month seven of Australia’s ‘year of the oceans’ when a network of new marine reserves right around the country will be established, starting with the unique south west region.

Happy July!

Solutions to the Global Oceans Crisis

This is copied from the ‘solutions’ page on the International Program of the State of the Ocean’s website.  It outlines what we need to do to save our oceans.  A daunting task, but perhaps the most important challenge our civilization will ever face (noting that it includes reducing carbon emissions).

 http://www.stateoftheocean.org/solutions.cfm

Marine Reserves (Sanctuaries)

A crisis on a global scale demands a solution of equal magnitude. IPSO believes that Marine Reserves are our single best hope for averting disaster at an Earth System level.

Marine Reserves are the marine equivalent of national parks. Based on the same scientifically-developed model we use to manage terrestrial over-exploitation, Marine Reserves are protected no-take areas. They are the Ocean equivalent of setting aside areas of the rainforest, for example, so that they can continue to create global oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.

By building pockets of resilience, Marine Reserves will allow the Ocean to recover from the stressors we have placed upon it and revert to its natural state, with diverse ecosystems and healthy habitats. As such, Marine Reserves fulfill both an immediate need for protection and a long-term approach capable of managing our Ocean and all of the demands we make upon it.

Fishing Reform

Marine capture fisheries are a vital supply of protein for large parts of the world’s population. It is critical that the management of fisheries is improved for the sake of global food security in the future, as well as to mitigate their devastating impact on the Ocean. Improvement of fisheries is complex and demands action on many fronts. Some of these actions include:

  • Reducing the capacity of global fishing fleets.
  • Eliminating harmful fishing subsidies.
  • Introducing rights-based fisheries management practices to give ownership of fisheries resources to fishers and prevent the “Tragedy of the Commons”.
  • Eliminating illegal, unregistered and unreported fishing through improved port-state control of fishing fleets, improving monitoring control and surveillance, and improving systems of traceability of fish products at all levels of the supply chain.
  • Improving international ocean governance, particularly with respect to the management of fisheries. This includes improving the means to enforce international law with respect to fishing (UNCLOS, UN Fish Stocks Agreement) and improving the functioning, transparency and accountability of institutions that are critical to the implementation of sustainable fisheries management, such the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.
  • Implementing technical improvements in fishing methods to prevent ecosystem-impacts, including the by-catch of non-target species.
  • There is an urgent need to reduce CO2 emissions in line with the most drastic cuts proposed in the 4th Report of the IPCC. However, even this will not guarantee that the Ocean will not be severely impacted by climate change by the middle of the century or earlier.
  • There is also a pressing need to develop carbon sinks to reduce current CO2 levels in the atmosphere. The current target of 450ppm CO2 in the atmosphere and/or 2oC temperature will not guarantee the viability of some marine ecosystems.

Climate Change

There is an urgent need to reduce CO2 emissions in line with the most drastic cuts proposed in the 4th Report of the IPCC. However, even this will not guarantee that the Ocean will not be severely impacted by climate change by the middle of the century or earlier.

There is also a pressing need to develop carbon sinks to reduce current CO2 levels in the atmosphere. The current target of 450ppm CO2 in the atmosphere and/or 2oC temperature will not guarantee the viability of some marine ecosystems.

Letter from Bunbury about Marine Sanctuaries

Martin Flynn, 87, wrote to Erienne Lette, a Bunbury journalist, and I after an article that ran on the front page of the Bunbury Mail about his memories of our oceans in a healthier time, and his hopes for marine sanctuaries.  His letter was so inspiring I rang him, and he has agreed to let me post it here.

It is so important to remember how things once were, and how they could be again, at least in some parts of our oceans.  And this letter really did that for me.

You can take action online to help the campaign for marine sanctuaries at Save Our Marine Life, Conservation Council of WA, and Care2.

Marine Sanctuaries in Bunbury

I read with interest Erienne Lette’s article in the Bunbury Mail on Wednesday, 20th April, about the proposed marine sanctuaries off Bunbury and wanted to comment on the changes I have seen in the ocean and estuaries around Bunbury over the past eighty odd years.

I was born in 1924 and moved to Bunbury when I was three years old.  As I grew up my brothers and I would spend many a day swimming and fishing around Bunbury.  We would pack our lunch in a sugar bad (which we would later use to store any fish or crabs we caught) and cycle off for the day.  When I think back to these days I remember the sense of freedom we had and the certainty that we carried with us that wherever we chose to stop we would be guaranteed a wonderful array of healthy fish swimming past.

Our favourite place to swim and fish was the Jetty Baths beach in Bunbury, where we would see many fish swimming though the jetty and out to sea.  There were all types of fish: tailor, dhufish, snapper, amongst others, and they were all big, healthy fish. We would also ride over to the Skeleton Bridge- where Koombana Bay meets the Leschenault Inlet – and as the water flowed through under the bridge we would see large numbers of healthy, big fish swimming thought.

Another favourite pastime was crabbing, and all we would need was the ability to scoop the crabs out of the estuary as it was teeming with them.

I am now 87 years old and still enjoy living neat the ocean in Bunbury.  I have always loved the ocean, and would swim and walk the beach most days thoughout my life until my ability to walk too far got the better of me.  I have a great respect for the ocean and the estuaries, and I have some wonderful memories of swimming, fishing and crabbing here in Bunbury throughout my life.

It would make my day to know that the diversity of marine life that I remember from my childhood has a chance to restore itself through the implementation of marine sanctuaries.  I have watched with great sadness over the years the demise of the healthy stock of fish I remember from the childhood, and feel hopeful that this idea for marine sanctuaries along the coast may be one way where we can restore the balance.

Yours Sincerely,

Martin Flynn

You can take action online to help the campaign for marine sanctuaries at Save Our Marine LifeConservation Council of WA, and Care2.

New Report show Ocean Crisis Worse than Thought

A new report soon to be released shows that pollution, climate change and overfishing are intereacting to make the ocean crisis even worse than previously thought.

A great Radio National interview with Carl Lundin, Head of the Global Marine Program at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature which co-authored the report.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2011/3249087.htm