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E-MISA March 2013

A word from our Chair.......

Inside the cabin of a boat

Above: The first snapshot of Australian fisheries, combining major commonwealth and state managed assessments into one document, is now available at www.fish.gov.au.

February marked the first meeting of the new MISA Steering Committee. With increased industry representation, the Committee is further building on its commitment to strategically align research and industry objectives and strengthen marine science in South Australia.

New industry members include:

  • Mr Jonas Woolford, Vice Chair of the Abalone Council Australia Ltd., President of the Abalone Industry Association of South Australia Inc. and Chairman of Wildcatch Fisheries SA Inc, who represents the wild fisheries sector;
  • Mr Steve Bowley, Director of the South Australian Oyster Growers Association (SAOGA), Chair of the South Australian Oyster Research Council (SAORC), Director of Oysters Australia and oyster farmer on the Yorke Peninsula, who represents the aquaculture sector; and 
  • Mr Mark Cody, Executive Director Seafood Processors and Exporters Council and Executive Director Primary Industries Skills Council, among others, who brings a seafood processing, marketing and training focus to the Committee.

Mr Brian Jeffriess, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association, remains on the Committee, providing a wealth of knowledge and experience across the seafood industry and research.

New appointments also include:

  • Prof Michelle Waycott, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), a botanist specialising in seagrasses, with involvement in the State Herbarium of South Australia and at the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Adelaide; and
  • Prof Jim Mitchell, Flinders University, School of Biological Sciences, expert in aquatic microbiology and biological oceanography and currently facilitator of the Flinders University marine scientists. 

Existing representatives are:

  • Prof Pauline Mooney, Executive Director SARDI;
  • Prof Mehdi Doroudi, Executive Director, PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture;
  • Prof Gavin Begg, Chief Scientist, SARDI Aquatic Sciences;
  • Prof Robert Hill, Executive Dean, Faculty of Sciences, University of Adelaide and Head of Science at the South Australian Museum; and
  • Dr David Smith, Theme Leader: Sustainable Ocean Ecosystems and Living Resources, CSIRO who is a participating observer.

The involvement of representatives across South Australia’s seafood industry including key marine research providers, demonstrates the enthusiasm and commitment to establish critical networks and work together through MISA.

I look forward to working with the new and existing members in 2013.

Prof Bob Hill, Chair MISA Steering Committee

Our Research

Australian fisheries given the 'green' tick
MISA partner, SARDI, has played a major role in the collaboration between state and territory government research agencies to produce the first national snapshot of Australian fisheries. The report combines the assessments of major commonwealth and state-managed fisheries into one document and has shown that most of Australia's fish stocks are healthy and well managed. Find out more about the National Stock Status Reports on the MISA website.

Spencer Gulf - ecosystem approach
Prof Bronwyn Gillanders, University of Adelaide has led the development of a Spencer Gulf ecosystem and development initiative, aimed to provide all stakeholders with access to independent and credible information to facilitate its sustainable development. The Science Plan is underway in association with SARDI and Flinders University. Find out more about the Spencer Gulf initiative on the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute website. 

South Australia's macroalgal research expanded
Flinders University is to receive $450,000 over three years from a major Chinese corporation to further the University's research into the potential conversion of seaweed into a range of high value products including foods, cosmetics and medicinal compounds. The collaboration with the Gather Great Ocean Group (GGOG), Qingdao, Shandong Province has led to the Flinders University - GGOG Advanced Macroalgae Biotechnology Joint Laboratory, enhancing South Australia's macroalgal capability. The existing SARDI led Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture project, funded by FRDC and involving the University of Adelaide and commercial participants, also has a significant macroalgal component adding to South Australia's collective capability in this rapidly developing research field. Find out more about the world class marine biotechnology laboratory on seaweeds on the Flinders University website. 

Anniversary seal count on Kangaroo Island
SARDI Aquatic Sciences' Assoc Prof Simon Goldsworthy and a team of DEWNR staff and community volunteers ventured back to Cape Gantheaume, Kangaroo Island in late January for the 25th annual seal count. The counts have shown an average ten percent annual increase in seal pup numbers since 1989. This year's survey, including the efforts of SA Museum mammal expert Dr Peter Shaunghnessy, found a slight downturn of five percent in numbers at 4,639 compared to 4,888. Assoc Prof Goldsworthy said the surveys have provided a baseline of information including to better understand variations in other New Zealand fur seal populations which cannot be so consistently monitored. Find out more about the colonies of New Zealand fur seal on the SA Museum website.

Monitoring southern rock lobster
SARDI Aquatic Sciences' researcher Matt Hoare talked to Channel ten's SCOPE program about monitoring southern rock lobster in the wild to better understand their biology and maintain a healthy rock lobster fishery. Watch the southern rock lobster episode, aired on 20 December 2012, on Channel ten SCOPE website. 

Monitoring mulloway - Yalata Indigenous Protected Area
Tom Barnes, University of Adelaide, talked to the ABC's Catalyst program about a DEWNR funded project, collaborating with SARDI Aquatic Sciences, staff from Natural Resources - Alintjara Wilurara, Yalata Land Management and Yalata community members. Led by Dr Paul Rogers, SARDI Aquatic Sciences, the team have developed an on-site recreational fishing survey and research projects on mulloway in the Yalata Indigenous Protected Area (IPA). The IPA, popular with beach fishers, borders the Great Australian Bight Marine Park on the far west coast of South Australia. Watch the mulloway in the IPA episode, aired on 28 February 2013, on the ABC Catalyst website. 

Tracking fresh water fish in the River Murray
SARDI Aquatic Sciences' fish ecologist, Dr Chris Bice talked to Channel ten's SCOPE program about using fluorescent dye to assess survival and recruitment of purple-spotted gudgeon, Yarra pygmy perch and Murray hardyhead in the River Murray as part of a specialised breeding and re-introduction program. Watch the conservation of freshwater fish episode, aired on 7 March 2013, on Channel ten SCOPE website (freshwater episode starts at 3min 50sec). 

Fish sampling in the Coorong
SARDI Aquatic Sciences Fish Biologist, Dr Qifeng Ye talked to the ABC's Catalyst program about monitoring the recovering of fish communities in the Coorong following the end of an extended drought period. Watch the extended interview, aired on 13 March 2013, on the ABC Catalyst website.

Sea snake research
Research from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum on the shrinking of some sea snake heads, a process that can lead to speciation - one species splitting into two, has been published in the journal Molecular Ecology. Find out more about the 'shrinking heads' of sea snakes on the SA Museum website.

Strange new fish discovered
A new species of blind cave fish, the Barrow Cave gudgeon, has been discovered by a collaborative team of scientists from the South Australian Museum, the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) and the Western Australian Museum. Find out more about the Barrow Cave gudgeon on the SA Museum website.

Other News

SARDI Seminar Series
Dr Robert Stephenson, Principal Investigator, NSERC Canadian Fisheries Research Network, St Andrews Biological Station and University of New Brunswick, will present the next SARDI Seminar, ‘Evolving fisheries management science: a Canadian case study.  The seminar starts at 12pm, Conference Room, SARDI Aquatic Sciences, 2 Hamra Ave, West Beach, SA. Further details about Dr Stephenson's presentation are available on the MISA website.

Seafood Directions Conference 2013
Seafood Directions 2013, 'Adapt, Interact & See Food' is being held in Port Lincoln, South Australia, 27-30 October 2013. Early bird registrations close 30 June 2013. Further information is available on the Seafood Directions Conference website.

The art of science
A travelling exhibition about the extraordinary evolution of scientific illustration will be on display at the SA Museum from 30 March to 19 May 2013. The displays feature historic and contemporary paintings, drawings, books and digital imagery. More information on the Art of Science exhibition is available on the SA Museum website.

Seafood Stories SHORTS Magazine
Find out the latest news and events from the Australian Seafood CRC, including information on the Super Seafood industry kit and the accompanying consumer resource, in the latest Seafood Stories SHORTS Magazine, February 2013, available on the Seafood CRC website.

Integrated Marine Observing System Bulletin
Find out the latest news and events from the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) in the IMOS Bulletin, February 2013.

Important Dates 

Sustainable Ocean Summit, 22-24 April 2013, Washington DC

European Seafood Exposition, 23-25 April 2013, Brussels Exhibition & Conference Centre, Brussels, Belgium

CRCA's Annual Conference, Collaborate - Innovate 2013, 15-17 May 2013, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Victoria, Australia

Australian Marine Sciences Association, AMSA, Conference, 'Golden Jubilee Conference,' 7-11 July 2013, Jupiter's Gold Coast, Queensland

New Zealand Marine Sciences Society, New Zealand Freshwater Society & Australian Society for Fish Biology Joint Conference, 'Aquatic science at the interface,' 19-23 August 2013, Hamilton New Zealand

Greenhouse 2013, 8-11 October 2013, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia

Seafood Directions 2013, Australian Seafood Industry National Conference 'Adapt interact & see food,' 27 - 30 October 2013, Port Lincoln, South Australia, Australia

10th International Marine Biotechnology Conference, 'Genome to phenome: understanding to sustainable use', 11- 15 November 2013, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia 

World Aquaculture Conference & Trade Show, WAA14, 7 -11 June 2014, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia

5th Congress of the International Society for Applied Phycology 2014, 'Strengthening algal industries for the future: key knowledge and skills gaps,' 22-27 June 2014, Australia Technology Park, Sydney, Australia

Climate Adaptation 2013: Delivering Knowledge, building partnerships, 25-27 June 2013, Hilton Hotel, Sydney, Australia

Interesting Links

Australia - New Zealand Marine Biotechnology Network

Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources website

Flinders University, Science and Engineering Bulletin, February 2012

FISH Magazine, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

Marine Matters Newsletter, Integrated Marine Observing System website

Primary Industries and Resources South Australia website

Seafood Stories, SHORTS Magazine, the Australian Seafood CRC

South Australian Research and Development Institute website

The Adelaidean, the University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide's Environment Institute website

Unlocked: Stories from our scientists, the South Australian Museum