The End of WAMSI Conference 2011

The Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) was formed in early 2006 as a unique collaboration of state, federal, industry and academic entities that have come together in a way that supports cooperation and scientific rigour around the strategic marine science needs for the State of Western Australia. Independent, peer-reviewed public good research has been the hallmark under the banner: Bettter Science, Better Decisions. The WAMSI conference in September was a unique event that represented the culmination and celebration of five years worth of research effort and $87million dollars worth of research projects.

The WAMSI Conference brought together some of Australia’s most esteemed marine scientists and their teams who together provided remarkable outcomes and achievements of their collaboration.

This conference provided a unique opportunity for scientists to show their research with users of the information, including managers, decision makers, consultants and the community. It was an invaluable opportunity for all stakeholders influenced by the WAMSI’s three key integrating themes – ocean systems forecasting, biodiversity conversation and natural resource management – to participate.

ECOS – Will Shark Bays seagrass survive big floods

Scientists are studying the impact of a massive influx of fresh water and sediment to Shark Bay in Western Australia as a result of the area’s largest ever flood event recorded in December last year.

Shark Bay was declared a World Heritage Area in 1991, and has the distinction of being one of the few places in the world that satisfies all criteria for World Heritage listing.

The bay’s vast seagrass meadows – the most diverse assemblage of seagrasses in the world – support globally significant populations of endangered dugongs and turtles.

‘Seagrasses are important as the basis of the bay’s food web,’ said CSIRO researcher, Dr Mat Vanderklift. ‘An array of invertebrates feed on them, fish feed on the invertebrates, and predators like dolphin feed on the fish.

‘The meadows also provide a nursery for juveniles of many species, including crabs and prawns.’

As well as the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship, the flood-impact study involves The University of Western Australia (UWA), Curtin University and the WA Marine Science Institution.



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