Sustainable Seas and Sustainable Aquaculture in Australia
Seaweek 2014: Sustainable Seas! Are there really plenty more fish in the Sea?
March 1-9th 2014 is National Seaweek. Schools and orgnanisations around the country are organising activities and classroom resources based around these themes. For more information about what is happening in your area, visit www.mesa.edu.au and keep an eye on this spot!
Victorian MESA representatives will be inviting Primary and Secondary school students to participate in:
Sustainable Seas beach art day involving talks from marine Scientists and an opportunity to construct sand sculptures about sustainable seas at Williamstown Beach.
An online and public debate about sustainable seafood featuring experts from the fishing, scientific and conservation communities.
Classroom activities relating to a more Sustainable Ocean supported by curriculum materials available at www.mesa.edu.au
If you have an activity planned and would like help to promote, or to organise an expert then please contact MESA vice president Andrew Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org
MESA is an organisation made up of individuals and organisations with a diverse range of opinions on the issue of ‘Sustainable Seas’. As an organisation we believe that the ocean is a natural wonder that provides humans with a valuable resource. We strive to educate the community about the intrinsic value of the ocean and the wonders that provides. It is a source of inspiration, renewal and recreation for humans, yet it needs to be protected. There are NOT “plenty more fish in the sea”. Human activities put pressure of the ocean in many ways, some that are direct such as overfishing, chemical pollution and litter that lower water quality and threaten wildlife and other less direct activities such as carbon pollution that lead to global warming and ocean acidification. It is important to recognise that people have the power to make positive impacts on the ocean in their everyday decisions:
Refusing to use plastic bags and “disposable” products,
Eliminating the toxins that enter our waterways by buying ecofriendly cleaners
Reduce the distance we and the products we consume travel by means of fossil-fuelled transportation (buy, eat and relax locally!)
Using energy wisely to minimise the amount of carbon pollution our lifestyles emit.
Learn about the source of your seafood and ask if it comes from a sustainable industry that minimises by-catch
MESA supports sustainable fishing practices and recognises the industries who are making an effort to reduce the impact of fishing on the broader environment and to maintain the longevity of fish stocks around the world. We recognise that many fish stocks continue to be fished at unsustainable levels and that there are a range of opinions, even amongst experts as to what constitutes a sustainable industry.
From MESA President, Michael Burke ....
Seaweek 2014: Sustainable Seas!
The theme for Seaweek 14 is Sustainable Seas, continuing on from the 2013 theme.
The Sustainable Seas 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.
In 2014, the Sustainable Seas theme also provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the use of aquaculture and mariculture as potential methods of maintaining sustainable aquatic ecosystems.
Seaweek 2014 Aims
- Highlight the sustainable management of Australia’s marine environment; Identify factors that threaten the sustainability of marine and coastal ecosystems;
- Facilitate the communication of sustainable marine management projects to the education community; Initiate interest and actions for supporting sustainable marine management that help us learn more about and contribute towards the sustainability of our marine and coastal environments;
- and provide schools with educational resources available on the MESA website for classroom based activities.
Australia’s marine and coastal environments contain unique, diverse and fragile ecosystems and species. As Australians, this environment gives us a strong social and cultural identity and its resources yield substantial economic value. Yet, there are many gaps in the knowledge and understanding of the ecology and biodiversity of our marine environment. Population growth, coastal development and industry are placing growing pressure on the sustainability of our aquatic resources and marine biodiversity across coast and marine estate. Is it possible to co-exist in an acceptable balance? This challenge is referred to as Ecologically Sustainable Development or ESD – a balance between economic, social and environmental values.
A greater understanding of our ecosystems gained by up-to-date science, innovative management across a range of organisations and the support of the community to foster sustainable attitudes and behaviours can lead us on the right path forward. Sustainability of the marine environment presents all Australians with a complex challenge and many tough decisions based on our economic, social and environmental values. Sustainability Broadly, sustainability is the ability to maintain a certain state or process indefinitely. In terms of the natural environment, sustainability is an ecosystems’ ability to maintain ecological processes and functions, biological diversity and productivity over time.
Factoring in the requirements of humans, sustainability can be defined as using ecosystems and their resources in a manner that satisfies current human needs without compromising the needs, or options, of future generations. Addressing sustainability in the marine environment involves protecting biodiversity and maintaining essential ecological processes. Factors that can threaten marine biodiversity include: Global climate change Over exploitation of resources Habitat damage Pollution Introduced species Are there really plenty more fish in the sea? MESA is an organisation made up of individuals and organisations with a diverse range of opinions on the issue of Sustainable Seas.
As an organisation, we believe that the ocean is a natural wonder that provides humans with a valuable resource. We strive to educate the community about the intrinsic value of the ocean and what it provides. Our oceans and coastal environments are a source of inspiration, renewal and recreation for humans, yet they need to be carefully managed and protected. There are not “plenty more fish in the sea”. Human activities put pressure on the world’s oceans in many ways. Some are direct, such as overfishing, chemical pollution and litter that reduces water quality and causes harm to wildlife.
There are other less direct activities, such as carbon pollution, that lead to global warming and ocean acidification. It is important to recognise that people have the power to make positive impacts on the ocean in their everyday decisions.
These impacts can include:
- Re-think the use of plastic bags and disposable products;
- Reducing the level of toxins that enter our waterways by buying eco-friendly cleaning products;
- Reduce the distance we, and the products we consume, travel by means of fossil-fuelled transportation (buy, eat and relax locally!);
- Using energy wisely to minimise the amount of carbon pollution our lifestyles produce;
- and Learn about the source of your seafood and ask if it comes from a sustainable industry that minimises by-catch.
MESA supports sustainable fishing practices and recognises the industries that are making an effort to reduce their impacts on the broader environment and to maintain the sustainability of fish stocks around the world.
Background informaation for Aquaculture is shown on the right,