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Wednesday, 06 February 2013 11:39

Watch the Video on youtube here

RESPECT BELLS BEACH film now on-line

For the last 18 months Surf Coast environmental group, Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment
(SANE) have been working with Coastcare, Parks Victoria and other groups to produce an educational
film that showcases the natural beauty at Bells Beach and the Point Addis Marine National Park.

Produced by Angel Point Media the film includes rare and unique underwater footage of the Point Addis Marine National Park and human activities that are having a negative impact on the terrestrial and marine environments. The film narrated by Jo Ludrooke, also features archive photographs and delivers a number of simple messages outlining how visitors to Bells Beach and the Point Addis MNP can protect the environment or get involved in volunteer conservation and marine programs at the local level.

“In 1988 SANE was founded by a small group of surfers with a radical idea ‘Don’t Destroy What You Came To Enjoy’. Twenty five years on our byline has gone global and nature is at a critical point. In many ways the issues for Bells are a microcosm for the planet”. Graeme Stockton – S.A.N.E

RESPECT BELLS BEACH was produced by John Foss and Angel Point Media with funding from
Coastcare (Department of Sustainability and Environment – Victoria).

“The Coastcare Community Grants program funds volunteer groups to help them protect and restore their treasured coastal patches. SANE’s DVD is one of the fantastic projects completed by volunteer groups along the Victorian coast. While delivering a strong environmental message, the DVD is another reminder of how crucial volunteers are in protecting and managing our coast.” Alex Sedger, DSE Coastcare Program.

It is intended that the film will be shown to local schools, tourism groups, surf schools and anyone interested in Bells Beach, Point Addis and the natural environment.

If you would like to find out more about RESPECT BELLS BEACH contact Angel Point Media – 0408 386 812 or email – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Written, directed and produced by John Foss (Angel Point Media) for Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment (SANE) and Coastcare (Department of Sustainability & Environment - Victoria).


Watch the Video on youtube here

Original Music by Oscar Lalor

'Dont Destroy What You Come To Enjoy!'


Save our Marine Life

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Tuesday, 22 November 2011 09:47

Late last week we learnt that hired corporate lobbyists are in Canberra right now having meeting after meeting with OUR Members of Parliament to prevent the declaration of sanctuaries for our South West marine life.

The industry knows how powerful our efforts have been in calling for marine sanctuaries, so they have brought in hired guns to stop us just one step short of creating an historic legacy for our marine life.

We can't let them win.

We need you to make just one call today to leave a message for your local MP letting them know you want marine sanctuaries. This will get the message through to the Environment Minister Tony Burke and tip the decision over the line.

Find your MP here and an easy 'how to' guide here.

If you wanted to send an even more powerful and convincing message to your MP then deliver your message in person by requesting a meeting when you call.

In 1975, Gough Whitlam created the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and stopped oil drilling on our world famous reef. In 1989, Malcolm Fraser took an iconic step forward in global marine conservation and ended whaling in Australia’s waters.

Environment Minister Tony Burke is one step short of also making history and could put Australia back in first place as a world leader in marine conservation. But not without your phone call to get him there.

A ground-breaking decision to create a network of marine sanctuaries in Australia's South West would do for marine life what saving the Daintree did for the survival of our rainforests. It would rank as one of the most significant conservation decisions in Australia's history.

Our MPs are our elected representatives. Your call will ensure the voice of the community will be louder and clearer than any others and that our precious whales, turtles, fur seals and other marine life are protected for all time.



David Mackenzie
Save Our Marine Life



Warming, Polluted Oceans Imperil 75 Percent of All Coral Reefs

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Sunday, 30 October 2011 22:03

Warming, Polluted Oceans Imperil 75 Percent of All Coral Reefs
WASHINGTON, DC, February 24, 2011 (ENS) - At least 75 percent of the world's coral reefs are under such intense pressures - both local and global - that their very survival is threatened, finds the most detailed assessment of threats to coral reefs ever undertaken, published on Wednesday.
If these pressures continue unchecked, more than 90 percent of reefs will be threatened by 2030 and nearly all reefs will be at risk by 2050, according to the "Reefs at Risk Revisited" report.

NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, left, and report co-author WRI's Lauretta Burke at the launch event in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Oko courtesy WRI)

The World Resources Institute, a global environmental think tank based in Washington, DC, led the analysis in collaboration with more than 25 research, conservation, and educational organizations. Partners provided data, offered guidance on the analytical approach, contributed to the report, and served as critical reviewers of the maps and findings.
Speaking at the report's launch in Washington, DC, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, said, "This report serves as a wake-up call for policy-makers, business leaders, ocean managers, and others about the urgent need for greater protection for coral reefs.
"As the report makes clear, local and global threats, including climate change, are already having significant impacts on coral reefs, putting the future of these beautiful and valuable ecosystems at risk," Lucbhenco said.
Launch activities also took place in the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Caribbean and Australia.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, a member of the WRI Board of Directors, wrote in his forward to the new analysis, "Coral reefs are among the world's greatest sources of beauty and wonder. Home to over 4,000 species of fish and 800 types of coral, reefs offer an amazing panorama of underwater life."

The Kuwait Dive Team discovers widespread coral bleaching in Kuwaiti waters, October 2010. (Photo by Kuwait Dive Team)

"As harmful as overfishing, coastal development, and other local threats are to reefs, the warming planet is quickly becoming the chief threat to the health of coral reefs around the world," wrote Gore.
"Every day, we dump 90 million tons of carbon pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet - roughly one-third of it goes into the ocean, increasing ocean acidification," he wrote, calling the degradation of coral reefs "a clear sign that our dangerous overreliance on fossil fuels is already changing Earth's climate."
"Coral reefs are currently experiencing higher ocean temperatures and acidity than at any other time in at least the last 400,000 years," wrote Gore. "If we continue down this path, all coral reefs will likely be threatened by mid-century, with 75 percent facing high to critical threats levels."
The new report is an update of "Reefs at Risk," released by World Resources Institute in 1998. The new report uses the latest data and satellite information to map coral reefs - including a reef map with a resolution 64 times higher than the original report.
In addition to the global threats of warming oceans and acidification, the local threats pose the most immediate and direct risks, the report finds, threatening more than 60 percent of coral reefs today.
This analysis addresses the local threats of:
•    Coastal development, coastal engineering, land filling, runoff from construction, sewage discharge, and impacts from unsustainable tourism
•    Watershed-based pollution such as erosion and nutrient fertilizer runoff from agriculture that flows down rivers to coastal waters
•    Marine-based pollution and damage such as solid waste, nutrients, toxins from oil and gas installations and shipping, and physical damage from anchors and ship groundings
•    Overfishing and destructive fishing, including unsustainable harvesting of fish or invertebrates, and damaging fishing practices such as the use of explosives or poisons.
The 27 countries and territories identified as highly vulnerable to reef loss are spread across the world's reef regions. Nineteen are small island states.
Nine countries - Haiti, Grenada, the Philippines, Comoros, Vanuatu, Tanzania, Kiribati, Fiji, and Indonesia - are most vulnerable to the effects of coral reef degradation. The report points out that these countries have high ratings for exposure to reef threat and reef dependence, combined with low ratings for adaptive capacity.

Clam on a coral reef in Fiji (Photo by Erwin Poliakov)

"These countries merit the highest priority for concerted development efforts to reduce reliance on reefs and to build adaptive capacity, alongside reducing immediate threats to reefs," the report states.
"Coral reefs are valuable resources for millions of people worldwide. Despite the dire situation for many reefs, there is reason for hope," said Lauretta Burke, senior associate at World Resources Institute and a lead author of the report. "Reefs are resilient, and by reducing the local pressures we can buy time as we find global solutions to preserve reefs for future generations."
Among the report's recommendations is more effective management of existing marine protected areas. The analysis shows that more than one-quarter of reefs are already within parks or reserves, more than any other type of marine habitat. Yet, only six percent of reefs are in protected areas that are effectively managed.
"Well managed marine protected areas are one of the best tools to safeguard reefs," said Mark Spalding, senior marine scientist at the Nature Conservancy and a lead author of the report.
"At their core, reefs are about people as well as nature: ensuring stable food supplies, promoting recovery from coral bleaching, and acting as a magnet for tourist dollars," said Spalding. "We need to apply the knowledge we have to shore up existing protected areas, as well as to designate new sites where threats are highest, such as the populous hearts of the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, East Africa and the Middle East."
"Through new technology and improved data, this study provides valuable tools and information for decision makers from national leaders to local marine managers," said Katie Reytar, research associate at WRI and a lead author. "In order to maximize the benefits of these tools, we need policymakers to commit to greater action to address the growing threats to coral reefs."


Cash for Containers campaign

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Monday, 10 October 2011 09:42

UPDATE 2, October 2011

 Dear supporter,

A lot has been happening with the campaign as we work with the community, government and industry to bring in container deposits. But first - your letters and postcards have been sent to the various environment ministers in Australia. Over 26 councils from around Australia have also been distributing postcards - suggest your council does too. From discussions with government officials we know that they are taking notice - several thousand have been sent so far. The constant mailings help keep the pressure up. As you may have heard Coca Cola have threatened to take the Northern Territory government to court over the 2012 introduction of a container deposit system (CDS). Coke is known around the world as an opponent of CDS. However their tactic has backfired by sparking a call to boycott Coke products in the NT. They got a great deal of bad publicity. Fortunately the NT government was able to protect their scheme for the next 12 months by a special regulation - but undoubtedly Coke will still seek to oppose the CDS. The next major development will be the publishing of the impact statement on new national packaging measures. Container deposits is being assessed but less reliable, low return options from the beverage industry are also included. We are expecting a major push by Coke and their allies as well as senior departmental advisers to environment ministers, to drop the CDS option from further discussion. The impact statement will be appearing soon.

We have a big fight on our hands over coming months.

Remember there are many ways to support the Cash for Containers campaign – spread the word about the Boomerang Alliance website and online letter; distribute campaign postcards (phone 02 9211 5022 or email to address above to request a suitable quantity); buy and wear a campaign t shirt (see Clean Up's online shop); write or talk to your local members (State and Federal), the local paper and your state’s local environment minister. You can follow the latest campaign activities on our cash for containers facebook site. We have to do a lot more work to keep the campaign going! We don't have the size and reach of resources of Coke and its allies. We need to tell more people about the benefits of cash for containers; why Coke is wrong; and make sure the politicians listen to the community. Please make a donation - Click here.. Your support is absolutely vital. With your help we will make further advances. We'll keep you informed. Thank you for your help.
Jeff Angel
National Convenor, Boomerang Alliance (17 national and state environment groups)
Cash for Containers Campaignc/TECSuite 2, 89 Jones Street. Ultimo 2007p:02 9211 5022f:02 9211 5033



Warming Oceans Encourage Explosion of Dangerous Bacteria

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Wednesday, 21 September 2011 22:29

Warming Oceans Encourage Explosion of Dangerous Bacteria
BRUSSELS, Belgium, September 13, 2011 (ENS) - Climate change is warming ocean waters, causing the spread of bacteria predicted to cost millions in health care as people are exposed to contaminated food and water and to marine diseases at work or at play.

The warning is expressed in a paper released today by European scientists in advance of a two-day conference in Brussels on the effects of climate change on the marine environment.

Project CLAMER, which stands for Climate Change and European Marine Ecosystem Research, a collaboration of 17 European marine institutes, issued the 200-page synthesis of more than 100 EU-funded projects published since 1998, together with a public opinion survey, a new book based on the scientific findings, and a major new documentary film to be featured at CLAMER's meeting September 14-15 in Brussels.

Vibrio vulnificus lives in warm seawater and can sicken those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound exposed to contaminated seawater. 50 percent of V. vulnificus bloodstream infections are fatal. (Electron microscope image by Janice Carr courtesy CDC
"Millions of euros in health costs may result from human consumption of contaminated seafood, ingestion of water-borne pathogens, and, to a lesser degree, through direct occupational or recreational exposure to marine diseases. Climatic conditions are playing an increasingly important role in the transmission of these diseases," says the CLAMER paper.

A team of researchers from Italy, the UK, Germany and the United States has found that warmer ocean water is causing a proliferation of bacteria from a genus known as Vibrio, among the most dangerous of all bacterial pathogens, which can produce serious illnesses such as gastroenteritis, septicemia and cholera.

Some types of the bacteria and micro-algae are linked to shellfish-associated food poisoning deaths. Others harm marine animals, including mollusks and fish, "with major economic and environmental impacts," the researchers say.

The paper reports "an unprecedented increase in the number of bathing infections that have been associated with warm-water Vibrio species in Northwest Europe," and a "globally-increasing trend in their associated diseases."

"We have amassed convincing and disturbing scientific evidence," says CLAMER co-ordinator Carlo Heip, director of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. "We need to communicate it much better than we have."

"We must all heed the clear warnings of the hazards we face from what amounts to an uncontrolled experiment on the marine environment," said Heip.

While the study was based on seawater samples taken near the mouth of Europe's Rhine River and Britain's Humber River, "the increasing dominance of marine Vibrios, including pathogenic bacterial species, may very likely occur in other areas around the world," the paper warns.

The authors write, "We provide evidence that Vibrios, including the cholera species, increased in dominance within the plankton-associated bacterial community of the North Sea during the past 44 years and that this increase is correlated significantly with climate induced sea surface warming during the same period. ... Ocean warming is favouring the spread of Vibrios."

Crashing waves at Howick, England (Photo by Andrew Kearton
Co-ordinated by the Marine Board of the European Science Foundation, with contributions from more than 20 scientists, the CLAMER synthesis and related book, examine the environments of the North Sea, Baltic Sea, Arctic Ocean, northeast Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.

The research captures a host of documented and forecast physical, chemical and biological marine changes with far-reaching consequences, including sea-level rise, coastal erosion, melting ice, storm frequency and intensity, physical changes including the North Atlantic circulation system, chemical changes such as acidification and deoxygenation, changes in marine life patterns, and the ultimate impacts of all this on humans - both social and economic.

Sea level rise, combined with higher waves in the North Atlantic and more frequent and severe storms, threaten up to one trillion euros worth of Europe's physical assets within 500 meters of the shore. And some 35 percent of Europe's GDP is generated within 50 kilometers of the shore, the synthesis notes.

"Sea-level rise of 80 to 200 cm could wipe out entire countries ... causing sea floods, massive economic damage, large movements of populations from inundated areas, salinity intrusion and loss of wetlands including the ecosystem services that they provide," the paper warns.

More frequent and intense storms are projected for Northern Europe, especially in a band running from the south of England through northern France, Denmark, northern Germany and Eastern Europe.

Annual damages are expected to rise 21 percent in the UK, 37 percent in Germany and 44 percent across Europe as a whole, with a 104 percent rise in losses from one-in-100 year storms.

In the public opinion poll that accompanies the paper, worried citizens say their main concerns are sea level rise and coastal erosion.

While respondents said they are taking personal actions to reduce carbon emissions, they blame climate change on other groups of people or nations.

They assign responsibility for mitigating the problem to governments and industry, although they perceive government and industry as ineffective on these issues.

Crowded beach at Menton on the French Riviera (Photo by Ian Britton courtesy
The online survey of 10,000 residents of 10 European countries - 1,000 each from Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Norway and Estonia - reveals widespread concern about climate change, led by worries about sea level rise and coastal erosion.

Conducted in January by Brussels-based TNS Opinion, the survey is the first of its kind to focus on public perceptions of climate change impacts at the coast or in the sea.

Asked to select from a list the single most serious problem facing the world, 18 percent of respondents chose climate change, the second highest choice.

By comparison, poverty and lack of food and drinking water was chosen by 31 percent, international terrorism by 16 percent, and a global economic downturn by 12 percent.

Concern about climate change is undiminished since a September 2009 Euro-Barometer survey conducted for the European Union, despite the cool winter of 2010 in Northern Europe and Climategate attacks on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and climate scientists.

Some 86 percent of respondents said climate change is caused entirely, mainly or in part by human activities. Only eight percent thought it is mainly or entirely caused by natural processes. In the United States, around 32-36 percent hold this view.

Scientists working in universities or for environmental NGOs are trusted as a source of information about climate change impacts in the seas and ocean far more than government scientists or those working for industry.

Men distrust all of the organizations and individuals listed more than women do, and in almost all cases, people over 35 expressed more distrust than those aged between 18 and 34.

Personal actions taken by European citizens in response to marine climate change issues are shown to focus more on mitigating climate change, such as reducing energy use and using sustainable forms of transport, than adapting to its impacts, through protecting homes from flooding, for example.

Public support for actions by national governments and the European Union is shown to be highest for policies to protect and enhance marine environments, such as tightening controls on pollution and reducing carbon emissions, while measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change are ranked the lowest.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2011. All rights reserved.


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