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  Seaweek 1990    

Theme: Marine Parks Save our Seas

Seaweek '92 coordinator: Jan Oliver

Understanding the theme

Our marine environments are under increasing pressures from overfishing, waste and run off from the land, marine pollution, habitat degradation and non sustainable use of the ocean resources. Traditionally conservation in the sea has focussed on species rather than habitats or ecosystems. Even though Australia has a variety of land in reserves and parks, it was only recently recognised that there is also a need to protect areas in the sea.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) aim to look after examples of natural, relatively unspoiled marine environments for future generations. They have been set aside to protect marine species and their habitats or cultural features eg reefs, seagrass, shipwrecks, atolls, deep-water areas and mangroves.

MPAs vary greatly in size and in what type of activities are permitted within the area. This depends on the defined purpose and values of that area.

MPAs have a range of benefits. They can enhance fisheries and threatened species populations by protecting nursery areas or providing refuges. They can provide opportunities for recreation, research, education and monitoring. They can preserve our cultural and historical heritage. They can conserve marine biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. SOS, Save our Seas! We need areas of the oceans protected from human impacts to ensure we have living seas now and forever. Education about MPAs introduces issues of:

  • Marine biodiversity - genes, species, habitats and ecosystemsSustainable use and management of ocean resourcesMPA plans, regulations and management
  • Marine cultural heritage - Aboriginal significance and sites or geological, archaeological and historical values.


Exploring the theme - event ideas

'Lateral thinking with long term pay-offs'
- An educator's workshop


A one day workshop for primary and secondary teachers.


Capricornia, Rockhampton Region.


Working with the Department of Environment, the local Seaweek Coordinator organised a workshop for teachers. The participants took a one hour flight down the Fitzroy River and out to North West coral cay and the Keppel Island group. Throughout this flight the Department of Environment representative explained the marine park zoning plan.


Just like students, teachers need active learning experiences. Teachers often lack life experiences with the marine environment yet we expect them to teach students enthusiastically. This workshop was planned to provide constructive marine experiences.

Students snorkelling at
North West Island Marine Park
The birds eye view of the marine and coastal zone from the catchment to the sea aimed to inspire and educate the educators. It introduced the teachers to current and local marine issues. By developing their interest, awareness and understanding of these issues, the teachers were provided with a very valuable tool for teaching marine education.

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Understanding the theme

Exploring the theme - event ideas

Extending the theme - classroom activities

Personal Action

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