Gaarragoon Guardians- A Bardi Jawi Rangers’ Story Wins a Best Film Award at the 2021 Mud and Saltwater Film Fest

The Western Australian Marine Science Institution is proud to announce that its film collaboration with the Bardi Jawi Rangers and the Australian Institute of Marine Science has won a best film award at the 2021 Mud and Saltwater Short Film Fest.

The annual short film festival, held in Broome and Cygnet Bay, aims to inspire film makers to explore, respect, enjoy and protect remarkable Roebuck Bay and the Kimberley region. The festival showcases the best short films made by professional and amateur filmmakers about this truly remarkable part of the world.

Our short documentary film Gaarragoon Guardians: A Bardi Jawi Rangers’ Story, tells the story of two-way learning between scientists and the Bardi Jawi Rangers who have been monitoring the fish and coral reef to manage the health of sea country on the Dampier Peninsula.

This two-way learning started 10 years ago with the WAMSI Kimberley Marine Research Program (2012-2018) to develop an understanding of how fish, coral and seagrasses sustain the health of the Kimberley marine ecosystem.

When researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science returned to Country with some of the results, they found the rangers had a few questions of their own that they wanted answered.

A monitoring program was developed and what we have filmed is a field trip with the Bardi Jawi Rangers and the Australian Institute of Marine Science monitoring partnership in August 2020.

The rangers tell their story of working with scientists to monitor the health of their sea country.

 

Watch: Bardi Jawi Healthy Country Coordinator Daniel Oades and Bardi Jawi Ranger Azton Howard introduce the Gaarragoon Guardians video

 

Watch: Gaarragoon Guardians: A Bardi Jawi Rangers’ story

This is a Western Australian Marine Science Institution and Australian Institute of Marine Science production in collaboration with the Bardi Jawi Rangers and the Kimberley Land Council.

Filmed and edited by Sam Frederick

Student and Early Career Researcher support for Biodiversity Conference

The Western Australian Marine Science Institution is offering a number of registrations and awards for marine science students and Early Career Researchers at The Biodiversity Conference 2021 in Perth.

This conference is bringing together researchers and practitioners across academia, government, industry and community to share scientific knowledge, biodiversity informatics and best practice in biodiversity conservation.

WAMSI Grants

The Western Australian Marine Science Institution is offering grants for a limited number of students and Early Career Researchers to cover the registration costs of this Conference. Your poster or presentation must be accepted to be eligible for this grant. Marine Science research submissions are welcome for poster, five-minute speed talk or 15-minute presentations and must be relevant to one of the six themes.

Theme 1: Indigenous Stewardship

Theme 2: Our Biodiversity Assets

Theme 3: Trends and Conditions

Theme 4: Threats and Their Impact

Theme 5: Restoration and Conservation

Theme 6: Technology and Innovation

WAMSI Awards

WAMSI is also offering cash awards for Students and Early Career Researchers for the best poster, five-minute speed talk or 15-minute presentation.

WAMSI CEO Dr Luke Twomey said WAMSI was interested in attracting emerging marine science leaders to join the collective Western Australian based expertise to benefit the forward thinking around biodiversity conservation across the state.

“With such an amazing pool of emerging talent in marine science in Western Australia, we would like to encourage students and Early Career Researchers to register to share your knowledge for the benefit of best practice in biodiversity conservation,” Dr Twomey said.

The conference is jointly supported and run by all five WA Universities, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, The Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute and eLife.

For more information head to the Conference website at: https://biodiversity2021.com.

 

Libby Howitt Appointed to WAMSI Board

The Western Australian Marine Science Institution has welcomed Principal Environment Advisor – Offshore at Santos Energy Ltd. Ms Libby Howitt to its board.

Ms Howitt brings skills in science and evidence-based decision making in environmental impact assessment and management, as applied to a range of marine activities including exploration, development and decommissioning activities of the oil and gas industry.

Ms Howitt has a research background in marine ecology and a working history of applying marine science to the assessment of human activities in the marine environment. She has dealt extensively with the challenges of exploring, developing, operating and decommissioning offshore petroleum facilities in proximity to environmentally sensitive areas whilst engaging with a broad range of stakeholders and regulatory authorities.

Libby has previously held positions with the University of Sydney, the Australian Museum and The Ecology Lab. She sits on the National Decommissioning Research Initiative, APPEA Marine Environment Science Working Groups, APPEA Seismic Working Group and NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub.

“On behalf of the partnership, I’d like to welcome Libby to the WAMSI board and look forward to her contribution in support of its vision to be the trusted independent facilitator, broker and advocate for marine science research that builds environmental, social and economic value for Western Australians,” WAMSI Chair Dr Paul Vogel AM said.

WA Blueprint Priorities for Marine Research Under Review

Western Australia’s Blueprint for Marine Science is undergoing a five-yearly review by the Western Australian Marine Science Institution to assess and update research priorities that may have changed under current economic and environmental forecasts.

The aim of the Blueprint is to support future decision making by providing evidence-based scientific support that recognises the needs of Western Australia’s marine industries, managers, regulators and the wider community.

First published in 2015, The Blueprint identified more than 100 sector-specific knowledge gaps through a comprehensive program of stakeholder engagement. The initial science priorities were also consistent with the science community led National Marine Science Plan.

CEO Dr Luke Twomey said, as custodians of the Blueprint, The Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) will revisit the Blueprint to maintain an understanding of the ongoing marine research priorities in Western Australia.

“Over the past five years WAMSI and other organisations have made great inroads into meeting priorities listed in the 2015 Blueprint,” Dr Twomey said. “Most notably, Western Australia has come a long way toward developing the future of shared data platforms, including the development of the Index of Marine Surveys for Assessments (IMSA) portal. Now, given major disruptions to regional, national and global socio-political drivers, we expect to observe a shift in the priorities and focus across the different sectors.”

Over the coming weeks WAMSI will revisit stakeholders across the different marine sectors in WA to discuss and document whether the previously identified priorities are still valid or if they have changed.

“What we want to learn from industry, environment managers and regulators is, what has changed for them over the past five years, what marine research areas are important to them now, and how marine research can help improve confidence in the decisions they need to make about the shared marine environment,” Dr Twomey said.

The outcomes are expected to be released in a report by mid-2021.

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WAMSI surveys Shark Bay values

This article was originally published on an archived WAMSI website. Some media or links may appear missing or broken. You can use the search function to look for these, or contact info@wamsi.org.au for a specific request.

A research team, surveying values that are important to the people of Shark Bay, is finding a variety of views are attached to the World Heritage area famous for its marine life and ancient stromatolites, with an economy that largely relies on the success of tourism and fishing industries.

More than 30 members of the community were surveyed last week in this first round of interviews  including representatives from local and state government, fishing and tourism business owners, long-term residents and Indigenous rangers.

The Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) will continue to conduct interviews over the coming weeks to determine the values, issues and concerns.

WAMSI Research Director Dr Jenny Shaw said initial indications were that there is a broad range of views across Shark Bay.

WAMSI Research Director Jenny Shaw conducts interviews at the Shark Bay Rec Centre 

 

“Values held by the people of Shark Bay were varied but some common themes have begun to emerge,” Dr Shaw said.  “There was widespread awareness of the massive seagrass loss from the 2011 marine heatwave and concerns about how that might have affected any changes in the bay. Tourism and fishing were also common themes.

“What we’ll do first is collect the research that’s already been done to look at whether some of the answers can be found in those bodies of work.

“Once we’ve brought together all the existing research, we can identify where there might be gaps in knowledge that relate to the values we’ve identified in our interviews. We’ll then develop a comprehensive science plan for Shark Bay to address those gaps.

“It’s a large and complex strategy to develop a comprehensive plan to respond to environmental pressures facing Shark Bay but it’s an important exercise to complete, especially now with increasing tourism,” Dr Shaw said.

 

Shark Bay Fish Factory

 

The RAC Monkey Mia Resort recently doubled its capacity from around 600 to 1200 guests per night. It’s estimated that the resort accommodates less than one third of the total number of visitors who enter the national park to see the dolphins.

This week’s Fishing Fiesta will see the return of some 100 recreational fishers and their families to the town of Denham.

Bag limits for some fish species in Shark Bay are higher than tourist destinations further south, making the region an attractive option for recreational fishers throughout the year.

The Shark Bay Stakeholder Values report and gap analysis is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

 

Links to related stories on Shark Bay:

Stakeholder engagement to deliver science plan for Shark Bay (WAMSI, February 2019)

Shark Bay: A World Heritage Site at catastrophic risk (The Conversation, Feb 2019)

Growing movement to highlight Shark Bay climate risks (WAMSI, September 2018)

Adapting to ecosystem change in the Shark Bay World Heritage site (WAMSI, June 2018)

Adapting to ecosystem change in the Shark Bay World Heritage Site (Workshop presentations, June 2018)

Shark Bay seagrass loss during ocean heatwave released up to 9m tonnes of CO2, scientists say (ABC, March 2018)

Will Shark Bays seagrass survive big floods? (ECOS – 2011)