Researchers in unique collaboration to discuss ‘Future Seas’

More than 100 researchers from the University of Tasmania and CSIRO will next week be joined by international experts for a five-day workshop at IMAS in Hobart on the future of the world’s oceans.

The Future Seas Workshop starting on Monday 11 November will bring together scientists, economists, public health experts, social scientists, engineers, and legal and governance experts to discuss challenges facing the oceans and future research priorities. (Photo, right: Pete Harmsen)

The Workshop convenor, IMAS and Centre for Marine Socioecology Professor Gretta Pecl, said the researchers would be joined by Traditional and Indigenous representatives from seven countries to help develop plans that could be implemented during the UN Ocean Science Decade from 2021 to 2030.

“Our oceans are under increasing pressure due to growing demand for natural resources at a time of unprecedented environmental changes,” Professor Pecl said.

“In Tasmania we are seeing those pressures first-hand, such as marine heatwaves and changes to local ecosystems, as well as human impacts from pollution, tourism and rising demand for seafood as the human population continues to grow.

“Addressing such complex challenges cannot be done by one sector or group of people working in isolation - it requires collaboration across academic disciplines, communities, industries and governments.

“The workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers to discuss 12 key ocean challenges that we have identified, ranging from climate change, food security and governance, to health and Indigenous issues.

“The researchers will be joined by representatives from Greenland, Finland, Taiwan, Canada, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia to articulate their future vision for the oceans from an Indigenous perspective.

“The workshop will discuss what the oceans may look like by 2030 on current trends, and how we can work together to make a difference.

“Our goal is to develop possible actions through this process that could be part of local, regional and global plans during the UN Ocean Science Decade,” Professor Pecl said.

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
November 7, 2019