The Ocean Solutions Dialogues are a series of workshops and public lectures where OI researchers, researchers from other institutions, government, industry and other stake holders get together to address ocean-based solutions to relevant societal problems.
Western Australia covers an area of 2 529 875 km2 and has a population of 2 million people. With 72% of the West Australian population living in and around Perth and a coastline which spans 20,871km, much of which is remote and relatively inaccessible. Monitoring the health, risks and status of marine resources in this vast span of water remains a challenge.
Addressing this challenge requires the use of cutting edge technology, broad collaborative partnerships and a strategic outlook that helps focus and assist the delivery of monitoring products best suited to address the needs of all stakeholders, government, industry, research providers and citizen groups with an interest in marine monitoring. The regulatory framework for monitoring is dynamic and changes rapidly, requiring a continuous revision and update of monitoring strategies and technology.
This dialogue asked the following questions:
Recent reports from the United Nations are alerting us that there is a much faster population growth than previously expected, driving the estimate for 2100 to 11 million people, this renders the question: How people will be fed?
The ocean offers the only option to significantly raise food production globally, but the development of a smart, sustainable aquaculture industry is a pre-requisite. Advanced nations should consider the development of controlled food production systems from the oceans as part of their defense strategy, as food insecurity will be the greatest challenge of the 21st Century.
In this Dialogue on 12 November, participants identified stumbling stones for the successful development of aquaculture in Australia and partnerships and solutions to remove these and render aquaculture a sustainable and profitable industry in Australia.
Addressing the need for marine spatial planning is a pre-requisite to underpin safe and sustainable operation in the marine environment.
Western Australia covers an area of 2.529,875 km2 and has a population of 2.3 million people around a coast line which spans 20,871 km. Resolving these conflicts is not rendered easy by the multiple layers of statutory regulation and agencies with responsibility in the marine environment.
Marine Spatial Planning is an emerging scientific and regulatory framework aimed at coordinating the various uses of coastal waters to minimise impacts and conflicts across sectors while maximising economic output. Marine Spatial Planning provides the underpinnings required for an effective “Blue Growth” strategy. Addressing the need for Marine Spatial Planning is a pre-requisite to underpin the safe and sustainable operation in the marine environment.
What are the barriers to spatial planning and management in the marine environment? Why is operationalising law and policy in marine areas more difficult than in terrestrial environments? To what extent are the difficulties to embrace spatial planning in the marine environment, compared to that on land derived from objective difficulties or from social psychological barriers?
As human operations in the marine environment increase so do the risks associated with these operations and the likelihood that disasters may occur. Because more people are using the oceans, they are being exposed to natural disasters. Resulting from our engagement with the ocean, which introduces additional risks, such as those associated with resource extraction and shipping of hazardous substances in the sea.
The dialogue was the first in a series of events organized by the UWA Oceans Institute to look at ‘big picture’ issues affecting Australia’s marine enviroments. "The goal of this first dialogue was to seek a greater involvement of scientists and research provider organisations in preparing and responding to marine disasters around Australia," said Winthrop Professor Carlos M Duarte.
More than twenty key representatives from commonwealth and state government agencies, academia, industry bodies and major resource industry groups completed the first face to face dialogue which was widely regarded by participants as a hugely successful event.
The dialogue was preceded by a Public Lecture where speakers from the UK (Professor Robert Nichols, Southamptom University), US (Dr Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) and the UWA Oceans Institute (Winthrop Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi).
The speakers presented case studies on marine disasters (coastal flooding with sea level rise, the response to the Macondo blow out in the Gulf of Mexico and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean) and discussed the insights derived from responding to these challenges.
For more information on the Dialogue series,
please email the Oceans Institute General Manager or phone on (+61) 6488 8016.