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MESA is a national organisation that brings together people interested in the study and enjoyment of coastal and marine environments.

MESA provides a forum for sharing ideas to facilitate the development of leading environmental education and interpretation programs.

MESA also promotes the sustainable use of marine and coastal environments through education.

Seaweek is a national initiative conducted annually to focus community awareness, provide information and encourage an appreciation of our marine and coastal environments. Each year a different theme is chosen.


Seaweek is a celebration of the uniqueness of our "Ocean Planet"

Our aims are to:

  • Support educators in delivering best practice marine education in the Australasian region
  • Promote networking through the MESA website, forums and the MESA newsletter "Undercurrents"
  • Facilitate training, workshops and conferences for members
  • Develop community understanding, appreciation and action for the marine and coastal environment through activities.
  • Encourage and contribute to national and international marine education initiatives.
April 2014

Seaweek 2014 - Sustainable Seas and Sustainable Aquaculture

The theme for Seaweek 2014 is Sustainable Seas. The theme provides a focus for students in schools and for communities to inform and inspire them about the diversity of our marine and coastal environments and how, through good management and individual action, we can all contribute towards the sustainability of these environments. There is a subtheme related to Aquaclture as well.Go to our Events page to find out what is on!

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The 2014 AGM will be held online at 5 pm AEST on Thursday 1st of May.

This is one of the most important meetings ever
held by MESA to determine our future.

Please check that your membership is up to date and contact Andrew Vance for login details..


Are there plenty more fish in the Sea
MESA invites you to a Q and A style discussion with an expert panel about the future of sustainable seafood at Melbourne Aquarium. on Wednesday 6th March from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Book at: http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/mesa-seaweek-qanda-discussion-are-there-plenty-more-fish-tickets-10484488387?aff=rss

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MESA Vice-President nominated for Pride of Australia medal

MESA V-P Andrew Vance has been acknowledged for his wonderful achievements in environmental and marine education by being nominated for a Pride of Australia medal in the "environment" category.

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New Sustainability Videos available

Aries (Auustralian Research Institute for Enviroonment and Sustainability has just released six new susrainabilty videos to go with the other 42 in their collection..

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Marine debris

Marine debris is largely made up of plastic, glass and fishing nets. It affects more than 270 species of animals worldwide, yet little is known about the full impacts to Australian wildlife. Help us bring awareness to this issue and the fight against marine debris by involving your class in TeachWild’s national art competition.Join TeachWild and the fight against marine debris by putting your hands up and showing your support.

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Also see "Sea Footprints"

Marine & Coastal Special Interest Group
Kate Kilgour has started up the Marine & Coastal Special Interest Group of the Australian Association of Environmental Education. It's free to join the SIG as you don't have to be a member of the AAEE (though of course, I'd recommend you all to join AAEE anyway! ;). A couple of you are already members, but for those who aren't, please let me know if you're keen and I'll add you to the mailing list for the SIG. I just need your name, organisation and position, and your location. 

For those of you on Facebook, there's a MCSIG Facebook Group you can join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/510101945695277/

BUT most importantly at the moment, please take a few minutes to fill in a survey we've designed to help us identify the best ways to network and support eachother. The survey can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NQZZ2NX

It's only a few questions so won't take long. Please feel free to forward to friends or colleagues you think may be interested too.
Marine Pests of Australia

Australian marine environment is threatened by . invaders - marine pests! This section looks at the major pest species, where they cme from, their impacton Australian shores and how they can be controlled.

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Saltmarshes are another important coastal ecosystem found around Australia. Find out about the biology, ecology and importance of saltmarshes. Also find out about some of the plants and animals living in them.

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Seamounts are mountains rising from the sea floor to below the surface. They are the remains of extinct ocean-floor volcanoes that last erupted many million years ago, Find out about seamounts and their ecology and about some of the unusual animals living around them.

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Seagrasses of Australia

Seagarss meadows are found in all states around Australia. They are important nursery grounds for fish and help stabilise the coast. They are unique as seagrasses are the only marine flowering plants. Find out more about the biology and ecology of seagrasses,

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Mangroves of Australia

Find out about the distribution and divesity, adaptaions and reproduction of mangroves. Learn about the animals found in mangrove forests. How do mangroves benefit us and the environment, what threats are there on mangroves. Includes YouTube videos and Photo Galleries including images of nearly all the mangrove species found in Australia.

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Sea Turtles of Australia

Find out about the biology, behaviour, distribution, migration and reproduction of the Sea Turtles of Australia. Includes detailed information about all six species found in Australian watees, YouTube videos and a Photo Gallery.

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Find out about the biology, structure, reproduction and ecology of these coral like animals also known as Moss animals. Includes detailed information about the phylum, YouTube videos and a Photo Gallery.

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Sea Snakes of Australia

Find out about the biology, behaviour, distribution, reproduction and venom of the Sea Snakes of Australia. Includes detailed information about four species, YouTube videos and a Photo Gallery.

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Marine Algae

Our latest unit! Find out about seaweeds - red, brown, coralline and green. Learn about their structure, reproduction and uses.

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Deep-Sea Biology

by Paul H. Yancey, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology, Whitman College, Washington, USA

This section explores life and zones of the deep sea. It contains over 450 images and looks at the various ocean zones, animals of the deep, cold and hydrothermal vents and seeps and much more.

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MESA on Facebook

The link to the facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marine-Education-Society-of-Australasia/146351192098470?sk=wall

Facebook is a fantastic tool. The MESA facebook page is intended as a forum for people working or interested in marine education. It provides opportunities to link with others and throw ideas around. Kate Kilgour maintains and regularly checks the page, posting suggestions and providing info and interesting links. Other MESA committee members are also regulars to the page, so it's a perfect opportunity for people to ask any questions about their programs or units of work.


From the web manager

I get a number of emails informing me of an error in a page or an out of date link. Please send me the URL of the page containg the error as it is very difficult to find these with well over 2,500 pages on the site!

Thanks Peter Biro

Marine Worms

Marine worms are worms that live in a marine environment. Marine worms may only have their shape and the fact that they have 'worm' in their name in common. They include the Platyhelminthes (flatworms) , Nematoda (roundworms), Annelida (segmented worms( Chaetognatha (arrow worms), Hemichordata (acorn worms), Phoronida (horseshoe worms), Nemertea (ribbon worms or proboscis worms), Sipunculid worms (peanut worms) and Echiura (Spoon Worms and Innkeeper Worms).

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Updated - MESA Members Area
The new unit for Primary Schools supporting Seaweek 2011 "Marine Science Matters!" and many of the resource sheets associatd with it are now available for download from the MESA Members area. As well the first three issues of the new Undercurrents launched last September can be downloaded from the Members Area. To access these resources you need to login to "My MESA" then click on the "Members" link on the far roght of the main top menu. If you are having any problems with this please contact the web manager.

They are often confused with sea jellies but the tunicates which include sea squirts, sea pork and salps are much more closely related to humans than sea jellies.

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Fish are the largest group of vertebrates with over 32,000 species. This unit explores the ecology, anatomy, reproduction and more of Fish including Bony fish, Cartilaginous fish, Lobe-finned fish and Agnatha. Includes a Photogallery and videos from YouTube.

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International News
MESA member Harry Breidahl has updates the International News section. It includes information on the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) Conferences 2010 and 2011, the World Environmental Education Congress WEEC 2011 (Brisbane), the International Aquarium Congress 2012 and the IPMEN Conferences 2007, 2008 and 2010.

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A major unit covering the ecology, anatomy, reproduction and more of Sponges including calcareous sponges, glass sponges and demosponsges. Includes a Photogallery and videos from YouTube.

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A major unit covering the ecology, anatomy, reproduction and more of Cnidaria including sea anemones, corals, sea pens, Box jellies, Jellyfish, Hydra, siphonophores, and Hydrozoa. Includes a Photogallery and videos from YouTube.

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A major unit covering the ecology, anatomy, reproduction and more of Crustaceans including crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, barnacles brine shrimp, copepods, ostracods, sandhoppers and mantis shrimp. Includes a Photogallery and videos from YouTube.

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A major unit covering the ecology, anatomy, reproduction and more of Echinoderms including Sea stars, Brittle Stars, Sea cucumbers, Sea urchins, Sand Dollars, Feather stars and Sea lilies. Includes a Photogallery and videos from YouTube.

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Molluscs of Australia
A major unit covering the ecology, anatomy, reproduction and more of Molluscs including Bivalves, Cephalopods, Chitons and Gastropods. Includes a Photogallery and videos from YouTube.

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Aquaculture in Australia
A major unit examing the farming of marine species around Australia. Aquaculture is the fastest growing primary industry in Australia.This unit contains general information about mariculture (marine aquaculture) in Australia and information relevant to each state and the Northern Territory. This unit has been developed to provide the public and students with a comprehensive, easy to understand guide to Mariculture in Australia. Now with YouTube videos.

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The World of Crabs
A major unit looking at the biology and ecology of crabs. This unit contains information about the biology and ecology of crabs. It includes sections on crab anatomy, how crabs breathe, how they defend themselves, what they eat and what eats them, life cycles and more.

The information is mainly presented using Flash movies, there are also games, music and cartoons about crabs.

The unit was first developed as a CD for the Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria with funding from COast Action/CoastCare.

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Swan Bay Online Activities

A range of interactive online activities for students including jigsaw puzzles, a colouring book, "Bill Skills", "Riddles", a mudflat food web and a board game about Swan Bay.

These activities are aimed at promoting awareness of some of the species that use Swan Bay, features that help them to survive, food webs, and the importance of catchment health for the health of our bays.

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