AUSMEPA eNewsletter Summer 2017

Newsletter Contents:


IMO announces 2017 World Maritime Day theme – "Connecting Ships, Ports & People"

"Connecting Ships, Ports and People" has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2017 following a proposal by Secretary-General Kitack Lim to the IMO Council.

Key objectives will include improving cooperation between ports and ships, and developing a closer partnership between the two sectors; raising global standards and setting norms for the safety, security and efficiency of ports, and for port and coastal State authorities; and standardizing port procedures through identifying and developing best practice guidance and training materials.

"The maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people that operate them, can and should play a significant role helping Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore through promoting trade by sea; enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through developing a sustainable blue economy*, at sea," Mr. Lim said.

[*To find out more about "Sustainable Blue Economy" see here]

New IMO kid-friendly website

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has taken the initiative to launch a new kid-friendly website including a specially- commissioned animation pages and information to explain to young people how IMO works to protect the marine environment and the atmosphere.

At AUSMEPA we were very proud to be invited to provide input, education resources and photographs. Find out more by exploring the site at
Also, look at the video


AUSMEPA & Ports Australia "We are Ports' high schools project.           

The 'We Are Ports' school pilot program is designed to promote the We Are Ports website and messaging in key schools located near ports across Australia.

The program, to commence in Term 2 of 2017, will be curriculum based (Geography) and target Year 9 students. The program will involve an element of online research that will require exploration of and it will culminate in a competition with first prize winners receiving an iPad or similar device for the Geography department.
The unit of work is supported entirely by online data. Everything students need for their learning experience is online. They will interpret graphs, tables of data and manipulate online maps choosing overlays that explain what they intend to communicate. Students will use geography skills to explore, question and discover why ports are a major component of interconnecting places, trade and consumption.

The following ports have agreed to participate in this wonderful project; Fremantle, Pilbara, Mid-West (WA); Darwin (NT); Nth Qld Bulk Ports, Townsville, Brisbane (QLD), NSW, Newcastle (NSW), Portland (VIC), Flinders (SA) & Tasmania.

Students will have the opportunity to research, learn and be amazed by ports in Australia, for example on any given day, $1.2 billion of trade moves through Australia's ports. This equates to one-third of our national wealth each year. Ports are Australia's largest cargo centres moving 3.6 million tonnes of goods and raw materials each day. That's more than 68 times the weight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

If you receive this eNewsletter and either are a teacher, or know of, a high school that would like to participate, let us know at and we'll do our best to accommodate your school!

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

Well first, let's talk about what it's not.  It's not a floating island of trash, like a garbage dump or a landfill. It's also not the only patch.

They exist all throughout the ocean, and the Pacific Garbage Patch just happens to be the most famous. 

Garbage patches are large areas of marine debris concentration that are formed by rotating ocean currents called gyres - kind of like big whirlpools that suck things in. A garbage patch is made up of tiny plastic pieces called "microplastics" that are less than 5 millimeters long.  It's more like pepper flakes swirling in a soup than something you can skim off the surface. You might come across some larger items, like plastic bottles, but it's possible to sail through a garbage patch and not see anything.  However they are a big problem, for the ocean and for us. See Ocean Todays animated video at;

Live marine webcams - Monterey Bay Aquarium

Check out these fantastic live web cams at Monterey Bay Aquarium. We've spent days researching, phoning and sending emails to try and find anyone in Australia that does this! Nobody! Wouldn't it be great if Sea Life, or the Aquariums provided this for us to watch and marvel at?


AUSMEPA website renovation and update

When AUSMEPA first designed its website, tablets were taken with a glass of water. How the internet has changed with tablets and smart phones making this the age of technology, dominating our lives. On top of that schools now have Smartboards in their classrooms that are connected to the internet as well as all kinds of other advanced technology.

Our website is currently receiving a major makeover to make it work better with all these electronic gadgets. We are working on the design before we can transfer our extensive materials onto the new platform.
Photo courtesy of Bob Winters

When our new website is, ready there will be four major buttons to take you straight to where you want to go. One of the buttons will be for the Maritime Community including Seafarers, containing all the materials they would want to look at. Educators will have their own button. The Students button will take them to all the materials they need and organised in a way they can easily find what they are looking for. Our latest project the 'Maritime Emissions Portal', will also get its own button. [Note: The original Portal project, was selected as one of the top ten finalists from the Google Impact Challenge 2016!]



Photo courtesy of Bob Winters


Coral Watch partners with AUSMEPA

AUSMEPA is proud to partner with the Coral Watch monitoring program and have our logo on their Coral Health Chart card.

Corals are an indicator species that help us to understand various environmental factors that affect reefs and therefore the ocean health within Australia's Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ).  

Visit Ocean Whispers to find out more here, the Coral Watch website here and see more about the EEZ on the Geoscience website here.


The Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL) SEA17 Conference  

Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL) is a long time member and supporter of AUSMEPA, and their SEA17 Conference is being held on March 27-29 in the Gold Coast. SEA17 is attended by a broad range of stakeholders from the maritime sector. Attendees include:

  • Owners and operators of maritime assets
  • Law firms, accounting firms and strategic advisory services
  • Maritime suppliers
  • Government officials
  • Academic institutions
  • Port services

AUSMEPA has been privileged has been invited to be part of a panel discussion on Day 3. Come along and listed to the latest and from renown guest speakers.

All AUSMEPA members and sponsors please attend.



AUSMEPA is a not-for-profit supported by leading maritime companies, individuals and organisations. Funds raised are used to create no-cost, innovative and practical educational resources for schools, seafarers and other users of the marine environment. click here to read more


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