Celebrating World Ocean Day With Valerie Taylor AM
Celebrating World Ocean day with Valerie Taylor AM
June 9, 2017
On Monday, Federal Member for Mackellar, Jason Falinski, celebrated World Ocean Day with the State Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes MP, the Save Our Marine Life partnership, and special guest Valerie Taylor AM at Palm Beach.
The evening included a special screening of Curl Curl duo James Sherwood's and Danielle Ryan's (Bluebottle Films) The Last Sea Treasure - an exploration of the Coral Sea – the cradle to the Great Barrier Reef and one of the last places on Earth where ocean giants still thrive.
Valerie fears that her second love after husband Ron, the ocean, is threatened and at 81, is putting up a fight for its life. The oceanographic legend has been giving talks everywhere The Last Sea Treasure has been shown in recent months around Australia.
“When we started out, the cinematography was a way to make money, to pay off the house,” she says. “Then I got to know the marine animals and ecosystems, and it became much more than that.
“In 1965, we did a six-month dive trip for the Belgian Scientific Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef. The footage we shot is in the University of Liège.
It’s become part of history because the places we filmed no longer exist. They’re changed. We went back to the reef in 1970 on another six-month job and already we could see an incredible change. Crystalclear water had become murky. Fertiliser run-off from the cane fields had increased. Great algal blooms would come, settle on the coral and kill it.
“When we first went into the ocean, there were so many fish and they were so tame that we never thought we could get them all. It seemed impossible. But over the years, from pollution and overfishing, we have made a huge dent. Suddenly, they’re not there anymore.”
Diving in the Coral Sea, Valerie has seen illegal fishing first-hand. “One time, out on Marion Reef,” Valerie explains, “we were rammed by a Japanese boat that was fishing illegally. There was no law out there. They were putting nets across the passes and catching everything. Not just fish – turtles, everything!”
Valerie has advocated strongly for marine parks in Australia and internationally. “They’re not the only solution,” she says, “but they can save a lot of rare marine creatures from extinction. We don’t have enough of them and we don’t protect them properly.”
Mr Falinski said: “We all share a love for our ocean up here on the Northern Beaches, so much of our lives are based around it. Marine parks, their implementation, management and conservation, is an issue that our community cares about immensely. I have heard the many voices that have written to me, sought meetings, and called my office, and I want to reaffirm my commitment to represent your views in Federal Parliament. I stand firm in my support for the national network of marine parks.”
Mr Falinski made a speech to Parliament last month arguing for the marine park network, he urged all attendees to sign a petition showing their support for this cause that he could take to the Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP.
I support our national network of marine parks, welcome the inclusion of $56 million in the 2016 Federal Budget to fund their implementation and management, and urge the Government to keep them operational, without reducing high level sanctuary protection (including our Coral Sea Sanctuary).
The petition gathered over a hundred signatures on the night, and will be circulated online over the weekend, before it’s presented by Mr Falinski to the Minister next week when Parliament sits.
Dr. Barry Traill, current Director of The Pew Charitable Trusts ' Australian Outback to Oceans program, also attended the Oceans Day 2017 celebration. Readers unable to attend Monday's event may be interested in reading this post by Dr. Traill, As Extinctions Mount in Australia’s Outback, a Sanctuary Offers Hope, which is an extract from The Pew Charitable Trust’s upcoming study “My Country, Our Outback; Voices From the Land on Hope and Change in Australia’s Heartland.” The report will be the second in Pew’s peer-reviewed Outback Papers series, which focuses on conservation priorities and challenges in the Outback.
Fellow Director at The Pew Charitable Trusts Matt Rand, Director of the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy, published a post on the Pew Charitable Trusts website on Monday, June 5th, Marine Reserves Can Help Oceans, and People, Withstand Climate Change, about the study released that same day, "Marine reserves can mitigate and promote adaptation to climate change". (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2017 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1701262114). The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project supported part of the research.
" In recent years, leading marine scientists have said that protecting large areas of the sea as oceanic reserves carries the added benefit of helping ocean life weather the impacts of climate change. Support for that claim was spread across numerous disparate studies—until now. In a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from 10 institutions—including several Pew marine fellows and members of the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project scientific advisory board—concluded that highly protected marine reserves have the potential to deliver climate resiliency benefits. Specifically, reserves help oceans and society adapt to five key climate-related impacts: ocean acidification, sea level rise, increased storm intensity, shifts in species distribution, and decreased productivity and oxygen availability.
This study shows that marine reserves can be climate reserves, especially when the protected areas are large, well-managed, in place for many years, and strict regarding what human activities are allowed.
"This study should be proof positive to decision makers that creating effectively managed marine reserves can deliver a multitude of benefits. Marine reserves are climate reserves." Mr. Rand stated this week.
Mr. Falinski wished to express his special thanks to the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club and the Ladies Committee of the Pacific Club for hosting the event at Palm Beach SLSC's Pacific Club.