Marine scientists across the world are racing to tackle the most urgent environmental challenge facing our planet today – ocean acidification. From the icy polar seas to the world’s most pristine coral reefs we track the latest scientific research. Heading the investigation is Dr Katharina Fabricius from the Australian Institute of Marine Science. She’s made a game-changing discovery. Nestled amongst Papua New Guinea’s stunning coral gardens is a unique reef where volcanic CO2 bubbles from the core of the earth – a window to the future of our oceans. Amongst her team are ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies researchers Prof. Philip Munday and Dr. Jodie Rummer. Together, they hope to understand current adaptations marine life may have to live amongst elevated CO2 and what we might expect for our future ocean life.
The comparative athleticism of fish probably isn’t a thought that crosses many people’s minds. For Sandra Binning and Dominique Roche, its more than just a thought – they’ve built swim tunnels to test fishes’ fitness. The husband and wife duo, from the ANU Research School of Biology and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, work on exercise physiology in coral reef fish. The results may help determine if these fish are destined to survive in a climate that is predicted to deliver more intense, frequent storms.
Guest lecturer Professor Terry Hughes speaks about securing a future for the Great Barrier Reef at the University of Wollongong, 9 April 2013.
The Reef is suffering death by a 1000 cuts. Population growth, transformation of land use in the Barrier Reef catchment, increase in sugar cane cultivation, expansion in coal mining and increased fishing have all negatively impacted the Reef.
Park Authority has almost no capacity to influence two major drivers of change and itís time to rethink how the Great Barrier Reef should be governed for the future!
The 2011 Nobel Laureate for Physics, Brian Schmidt, leader of the High-Redshift Supernova Search Team, will describe this discovery and explain how astronomers have used observations to trace our universe’s history back more than 13 billion years, leading them to ponder the ultimate fate of the cosmos.
Just what is the science underpinning marine parks and are we being duped by the media into a false debate? RiAus Director and moderator Paul Willis discusses marine parks with media representatives and experts: Joseph Milton – Media Officer at the Australian Science Media Centre, Tory Shepherd – Writer/Editor at ThePunch.com.au, Peter Fairweather – Professor Marine Ecology, Flinders University, David Williamson – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies.
Scientists from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology conducted a survey of mainland China and South China Sea reefs, and published it in the latest edition of Conservation Biology. The authors painted a “grim picture of decline, degradation and destruction” from coastal development, pollution, and overfishing. Read more
David Bellwood, a marine biologist and an internationally recognized expert in coral reef fishes and systems, combines skills in such disparate fields as ecology, palaeontology, biomechanics and molecular systems to understand the nature of reefs. “The argument would be that if you’ve got a reef with a thousand species, it is a lot more resilient, and a lot more capable of maintaining itself than a reef with a hundred species. I don’t think that is true.”
Fish and People is a 50-minute production divided into educational modules explaining the ‘stock-recruitment relationship’ in an easily accessible manner and with a carefully crafted portfolio of explanatory graphics and natural history photography.
Fish and People deals with species that are of economic (and ecological) importance and thus immediately familiar to a Pacific audience. It is tailored for middle and upper high school students and is accompanied by a comprehensive teacher’s guide. Fish and People was funded by the Australian Research Council and Telekom Television (Solomon Islands).
Fish and People has been scripted by Simon Foale and Russell Kelley, and assembled and edited by multi-award-winning media professionals at Digital Dimensions and Eco Media Production Group. A second version, designed for viewing by the wider community throughout the Solomon Islands and beyond, is in production.
Fish and people’s approach to the impending fisheries management crisis in the Pacific with a high-school level learning tool is to educate the young adults of the importance of fisheries management. More importantly, their role in their community in managing fisheries and food security.
We believe if a critical mass of young adults acquire a clear understanding of how overfishing destroys fisheries and food security, they will not only innovate their own, ‘bottom-up’ fisheries management strategies as they assume positions of influence within the community, but they will also be more likely to understand the need for, and therefore comply with, ‘top-down’ management approaches such as size limits, gear restrictions, quotas and moratoria.
A research paper that outlines in detail the justification for producing Fish and People is here: Foale S., Cohen P., Januchowski S., Wenger A., Macintyre M. (2011) Tenure and taboos: origins and implications for fisheries in the Pacific. Fish and Fisheries 12, 357-369.
My objective in giving the seminar is, through organization of thoughts and discussion with the audience, to move toward a better understanding of how to engage with managers and policy makers. So come along in the spirit of discussion, but not to learn the answers.Read more.
The talk explores some of challenges for the management coral reefs when science is applied in poor developing countries. Research preferences of coral reef scholars and management preferences of fishers are examined and evaluated for their value in providing solutions that address contemporary social-ecological and governance processes.
Catch the special episode on ‘Catalyst’ featuring the ARC Centre of Excellence’s director, Professor Terry Hughes, on ABC 1 Thursday 30 August 2012.
Life in the world’s oceans faces far greater change and risk of large-scale extinctions than at any previous time in human history, a team of the world’s leading marine scientists has warned. John Pandolfi of the University of Queensland crosses to the desk to explain why the world’s oceans are more threatened than ever right now. Read more
Recorded during the recent 2012 International Coral Reef Symposium, a panel of leading experts and practitioners met in Cairns to debate the issues facing coral reefs in front of an informed audience. The one-hour episode is available online at www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/programs/future-forum. Further information about the program and the panel members can also be found at this link.
On tonight’s episode of The Environment Quarter, we check in with the scientists attending the International Coral Reef Symposium.
Scientists from more than 80 countries are in Cairns in far north Queensland for the International Coral Reef Symposium It’s the first time the event has been held in Australia in more than 40 years. Scientists there have tabled a united statement urging governments around the world to do more to protect marine environments. The ABC’s environment reporter, Conor Duffy reports from Cairns.
The elusive culprits that are killing countless coral reefs around the world can now be nabbed with technology normally used to diagnose human diseases, marine researchers say. Read more
Kirsty recently began a PhD looking at the scales at which fish are functioning on the reef and how this contributes to resilience. Kirsty is supervised by Nick Graham and David Bellwood.
Professor Terry Hughes is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, headquartered at James Cook University. Terry was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2001 in recognition of “a career which has significantly advanced the world’s store of scientific knowledge”. He is ranked #1 in the world for citations in coral reef science, and in 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Darwin Medal by the International Society for Reef Studies.
An international team of scientists has achieved a major breakthrough in fishing sustainability on coral reefs which could play a vital role in preventing their collapse. Read more
A masked marauder has emerged unexpectedly from the ocean to rescue a dying coral reef from destruction in the nick of time. With the dramatic flair of comic-book superhero Batman, a batfish has saved a coral reef that was being choked to death by seaweed – although the fish was never previously known as a weed-eater. Read more