Research to future proof our fisheries
James Cook University’s Estuary and Coastal Wetland Ecology Research Group is gathering in Townsville tomorrow (Wednesday, April 16) to review current projects and plan future research to support healthy fisheries in northern Australia.
North Queensland estuaries and wetlands are critical nursery and feeding grounds for many species of fish. As well as supplying most of the seafood many people love to eat, estuaries are the places most people fish. However, these habitats are under pressure from increasing populations and changing climates.
JCU researchers are working to understand which areas are vulnerable and which can support development, so that a middle ground can be found.
Researcher Martha Brians from JCU’s Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER) said to answer these questions, researchers were examining different aspects, such as juvenile fish nurseries, habitat structure, and changes in dissolved oxygen, all of which are indicators of healthy systems.
“Every researcher is working on a piece of the puzzle, this workshop brings it all together to uncover the big picture,” Ms Brians said.
The research group has invited key members of management and community groups, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), NQ Dry Tropics, Terrain, and the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (Q-DAFF).
“Bringing these people together creates links, helping to turn knowledge into action,” she said.
“The output of this workshop could be substantial for the long-term security of these incredible environments we all enjoy,” Professor Marcus Sheaves, director of the Research Group, said.
Researchers and managers will gather at the Australian Tropical Science and Innovation Precinct at JCU’s Townsville campus for the summit tomorrow.
“The work we are doing now could make a difference to the chances that our kids and grandkids will have to enjoy these iconic areas,” Professor Sheaves said.
Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Time: 9am to 12 noon. Best time for media to attend 10:45 (morning tea) or 12 noon
Location: Australian Tropical Science and Innovation Precinct, building 145, JCU Townsville campus
For interviews, contact Martha Brians on tel: (07) 4781 5739 or 0447 662 570, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JCU Media Liaison: Caroline Kaurila, tel: (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175.
Issued April 15, 2014