Marine researchers are nearing the conclusion of a two-week workshop designed to assess the effect of human activity on marine life. The workshop is taking place at the small, isolated Maria Island off Tasmania, Australia’s east coast.
Twenty researchers–from the USA, UK, Canada, Chile, Argentina, the Canary Islands, the Galapagos Islands, South Africa, Indonesia and New Zealand–are meeting to discuss information collected by the Reef Life Survey (RLS) project.
RLS was developed by one of the workshop leaders, Professor Graham Edgar from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), in 2007 in order to train recreational scuba divers to collect biodiversity data. By getting help from the public, the RLS obtained more data than a team of professional divers ever could.
Dr. Stuart-Smith, the other workshop leader, says the aim of the workshop is “to improve understanding on how the world’s marine life is distributed naturally, and how natural patterns have been affected by human impacts such as overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, global climate change and species introductions.”
“Particular emphasis will be placed on filling gaps needed to better manage the conservation of marine biodiversity, including how managers can improve conservation outcomes when declaring marine protected areas,” he said.
To learn more:
- Read the news release from UMAS: Isolated Maria Island to host international workshop on marine biodiversity
- Check out this short video about the workshop
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.