AUSMEPA eNewsletter Summer 2014

Newsletter highlights:

Julies Corner -

School's out but not for long and the Aussie summer in full swing. A great time to visit the beach! Have a look at a mystery object that some excited beach goers found recently in our Ocean Whispers blog (below).

Welcome to the Board

It is AUSMEPA's pleasure to welcome Mr Stephen Thompson from well renowned law firm in Sydney 'Holman Fenwick & Willan' to the AUSMEPA Board. We look forward to working with you, Stephen!

At the November 2014 AGM the Board was voted as follows;

Chairman : Mr Warwick Norman (RightShip Pty Ltd.)Deputy Chairman: Captain Conrad Saldanha (Origin Energy)
Secretary: Mr James Huggett (Maritime Safety Queensland) 
Treasurer: Mr Stephen Thompson (Holman Fenwick Willan)
Board Member: Ms Angela Gillham (Australian Shipowners Association
Board Member: Mr Toby Stone (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) 
Board Member: Mr David Phillips (Svitzer  Australasia)

VIP's visit AUSMEPA stall

Here I'm showing the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure & Regional Development the Hon Warren Trust MP and Mick Kinley CEO Australian Maritime Safety Authority around the AUSMEPA display at the Maritime 14 Ship to Shore conference in Melbourne during November.

For schools –

Kids Investigating Sea Solutions (KISS)

AUSMEPA is currently building a new flexible student website for helping our marine environment. It will support a wide range of marine issues that are of ongoing interest as well as those that become topical over time. The main areas of interest will include action projects, habitats, marine creatures and other topics that spring up all the time.  

An example of a major topic may be mangroves, a marine and coastal issue that students and communities can relate to. The values of mangroves are poorly understood and are far more valuable than people assume. Areas that would be covered:

  • The importance of mangroves as habitat, fish resources, barrier to storms and tsunamis and a carbon sink.
  • Why mangroves are threatened.
  • What are mangroves and where they occur?
  • Mangrove adaptations including examples of life cycles.
  • How saltmarshes are associated with mangroves and their conservation.
  • Animals dependant on mangroves including aquatic and are breathing animals.
  • What is being done and what communities and schools are doing to conserve mangroves. 
  • Community projects, organisations, links and references

Such a topic can be fitted into a number of areas in science and geography of the Australian Curriculum.

New Art activities coming

At AUSMEPA we are well aware that implementing many learning styles gives students a better understanding of what they are learning.

This year we will begin providing a series of Art activities, just for fun. The activities may range from creating a coral reef from recycled materials to paper boat building.

Rhondda Alexander Marine Education Grant 2014

At the close of the 2014 school year three schools in South East Melbourne made great use of their Rhondda Alexander Memorial Education Grant (RAMEG). Here is what they found.

Looking for Signs – What's Left Behind?

On 2 December 2014, thirty students from three schools - St Joseph's Primary School Black Rock, Beaumaris Primary School and Stella Maris Primary School Beaumaris  - participated in a whole day excursion at Rickett's Point Marine Sanctuary facilitated by EcoCentre teacher Andrea Eales.

The students learned to identify indigenous sea birds, explored an Aboriginal shell midden with Dean Stewart from the Boon Wurrung Foundation, and collaborated to conduct mollusc and marine plastics surveys. The students also created an alphabet of Port Phillip Bay marine life, and interviewed 18-year-old naturalist Gio Fitzpatrick, the EcoCentre Youth Wildlife Ambassador.
The students then visited each others' schools to edit film clips about their experience, the survey procedures, and tips they wanted to share with other schools. They also action-planned how they will share and promote what they learned.

For many students, this was their first experience seeing another school campus, and the participants enjoyed collaborating.

Rockpool Ramble & Foreshore Shell Surveys

Students worked in four groups to conduct Baykeeper shell surveys and record their findings including measurements, descriptions and photos of shells. This data contributes to ongoing research comparing climate data to the size and distribution of molluscs.

"We found a shark egg! They are camouflaged like seaweed for safety."

Tideline Microplastic Nurdle Surveys

Students used various methods to search for nurdles, pre-production plastic pellets, in the organic material along the high tide line in one square metre quadrats. The students found fewer than ten nurdles, an excellent result (particularly when compared to neighbouring beaches where thousands can be collected in 15 minutes). The students hypothesised why the numbers might be low, for example tide patterns or the shape of the coast "protecting" one spot from nurdles. They also compared the quantity of post-consumer litter and considered prevention strategies.

"Whenever I'm down at the beach [in future],  I will try to find nurdles."

"How many nurdles are there [everywhere]?"

Aboriginal Culture

The students visited an Aboriginal shell midden and compared modern packaging to the footprint of the First Peoples. After a smoke ceremony to cleanse and welcome the boys and girls to Country, Dean Stewart shared the geographic history of Port Phillip Bay and the customs of Boon Wurrung culture, particularly the journeys of young people the same age as the students -- and their observational skills for knowing Country.

AUSMEPA sponsors and supporters -

New Ship Members

AUSMEPA welcome TSAKOS Columbia Ship Management  with 5 ships and Asian-Alliance Ship Management  with 3 ships to the AUSMEPA Ship Membership Scheme.

  • As AUSMEPA'S Executive Officer I am proud to announce our most recent GOLD Ship members 'Tsakos Columbia Ship Management' & SILVER Ship members, 'Asian-Alliance Ship Management'. They recognise the marine environmental awareness and education work undertaken by AUSMEPA and the other MEPAS around the world.
  • The AUSMEPA Board were pleased to acknowledge the high quality of 'Tsakos Columbia Ship Management' & 'Asian-Alliance Ship Management'  and welcome them to AUSMEPA to assist in the education of mariners along with schools, teachers, students and communities around  Australia, which is of vital importance for keeping our oceans clean and healthy.

A bit more about ASM...

Asian-Alliance Management (ASM) is a "one-stop shop" in the industry offering comprehensive ship management solutions. Owned and run by experienced and well respected marine industry professionals, it has a hands-on and result-oriented management style. By virtue of its founders being from the three biggest ship management companies, their synergy offers excellent industry practices to its clients.

ASM is a firm believer in having the best personnel ashore and at sea. It takes pride in adhering to international standards, providing quality services and being cost effective. The company's vision is to run ships with total commitment and protect owners' assets.
Website:  Asian-Alliance Ship Management -

Ocean Whispers

Mystery object at Coogee Beach

How exciting is it to discover some new strange thing as we walk along our amazing Aussie beaches on hot summer days.  
AUSMEPA was recently contacted about this magnificent specimen found on Coogee Beach, NSW. 
Looking at this mysterious object it would be hard to guess that it is egg of a shark! So many things to think about, questions to ask.
continue reading more of this article by clicking here

See more Ocean Whispers articles here

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