The WAMSI Kimberley Marine Research Conference (WA State Library 28-29 November) is all about emphasising the impact of science, from sharing the many new findings uncovered by the research program through to ensuring that science is best used by managers for the conservation and management of Australia’s far northwest marine environment.
We have invited government, Traditional Owners and industry stakeholders to discuss their marine research priorities and why these are important for management of the marine environment. Researchers will present the results of their Kimberley science projects highlighting the foundational datasets that have been collected to underpin marine park, healthy country and marine resource management, detailing the ecosystem functioning and describing current and potential future human impacts, including climate change, in order to predict how management can support conservation in the region.
To wrap up we’ll hear from natural resource managers about the application of this information through joint management practices and conservation efforts.
The Kimberley Marine Research Program has provided us with an unprecedented insight into one of the most pristine and extreme environments in the world. Five years ago we didn’t know if marine life there was barely surviving or thriving. Our program has shown that many species have adapted over time and some have developed a high tolerance to the extreme conditions.
However, we’ve also found that some species are not immune to the pressures associated with ocean warming, changes in rainfall and human development of the terrestrial and marine environments and we now have the baseline information and the tools to better compare and advise on the effectiveness of conservation efforts.
The KMRP Conference program and abstracts can be found at www.wamsi.org.au/wamsi-research-conference-2017
Dr Stuart Field, KMRP Node Leader
Dr Kelly Waples, KMRP Science Coordinator
The $30 million Kimberley Marine Research Program is funded through major investment supported by $12 million from the Western Australian government co-invested by the WAMSI partners and supported by the Traditional Owners of the Kimberley.