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Have your say on southern Tasmanian coastal waters

Residents of the Huon-Dover and Channel regions are to be part of a new study called Your Marine Values and will be asked about what they consider important about their local marine environment.

Researchers at the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship will meet with members of these communities to obtain a better understanding of the broad range of values held within different sectors of the community.

IMAS social scientist Emily Ogier will be the key contact for the University of Tasmania study.

“We want to hear from people living near and working in the marine and estuarine waters of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon River,” said Ms Ogier.

Workshops, planned for February 2013 in Woodbridge and Dover, will target local community members, marine farmers and government agencies.

 “What we have found so far is that people care strongly and differently about these marine waters, which host rich marine ecosystems, support productive industries, and provide opportunities to dive, boat and fish,” Ms Ogier said.

“We will provide the community with feedback on their contributions, with this first component targeted for completion towards the end of 2013.”

IMAS marine scientist Dr Catriona MacLeod will be leading this first stage of the research project, which will focus on establishing the various environmental values held within the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon River community.

“The way in which we each engage with the marine environment differs. Consequently sometimes users will have values in common and sometimes they may be conflicting. We want to compare them and identify those that matter most in different contexts, and we are particularly keen to get a clear understanding of the environmental values connected to marine farming as it is such an important activity in this region,” Dr MacLeod said.

The second phase of the project will integrate the marine values and monitoring from these environments into a new computer model.

“Ultimately we want to safeguard these key marine values and to make sure we all understand how the environmental parameters that are already being monitored relate to these values,” said Dr MacLeod.

Computer models enable regulators, communities and aquaculture industries to better understand and anticipate the effects of proposed changes on key marine values, within a computer-based system, before making decisions on the ground.

“The information provided by the community will be used to make recommendations about how best to report back to local communities and industries,” said Dr MacLeod.

The four year project, a collaboration between CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship and the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), is funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC).

Workshops will be held in local venues, from the Channel down to Dover, to allow participation from residents of the Huon-Dover and Channel regions, the salmon and oyster aquaculture industries, as well as government agencies.

A survey is also available for people who cannot participate in the workshops but who want to have their say.

For further information about the Your Marine Values study, the workshops and survey, contact Emily Ogier on 62277 225 or email YourValues.imas@utas.edu.au.

Community workshops

Monday 18th February,6:00-8:30pm, Dover Hotel
Tuesday 19th February,6:00 -8:30pm, the Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre


Information released by

The Media Office, University of Tasmania

Phone: (03) 6226 6683 or 0418 299 470 (Sam East, IMAS Communications, Outreach & Marketing Manager)

Email: Media.Office@utas.edu.au

Published on: 31 Jan 2013 8:04am