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SUFB 380: Broome Community Seagrass Project with Fiona West

Speak Up For The Ocean Blue

Release Date: 10/11/2017

SUFB 1226: Where do you begin to help protect the Ocean? show art SUFB 1226: Where do you begin to help protect the Ocean?

Speak Up For The Ocean Blue

I received a question from Josie Greenston who asked me (I am paraphrasing): Where do I begin with helping with the Ocean? There are so many things that are harming the ocean (climate change, over-fishing, plastic pollution, etc.) that I don't know where to begin helping the Ocean. Josie asks a great question that I've heard before. I wanted to take this episode to address how people can help the ocean with various levels of available commitment.  You can choose any one of the options or combine them depending on your interest and commitment level.  Connect with Speak Up For Blue:...

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SUFB 1225: Home Sweet Home with the Zero Waste Family show art SUFB 1225: Home Sweet Home with the Zero Waste Family

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I see many people profess to go Zero Waste and I think it's great; however, I have trouble relating to them because they are oftentimes at different life stages than I am. They are single or a two-person household, which makes it easier to change their lifestyle choice than it is with a family with kids.  Or it was just one of the many excuses I use to procrastinate more on changing my lifestyle.  Well, I can't use my family as an excuse anymore because of the Zero Waste Family. They are a family that has dedicated years of their life to live a Zero Waste lifestyle as a family unit....

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SUFB 1224: Measuring changes 5 Years after the Blob show art SUFB 1224: Measuring changes 5 Years after the Blob

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SUFB 1223: What would I do if I had to start to Sci Comm today? show art SUFB 1223: What would I do if I had to start to Sci Comm today?

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SUFB 1222: Meteor - the scicomm podcast that we didn't know we needed show art SUFB 1222: Meteor - the scicomm podcast that we didn't know we needed

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I am a huge advocate for science communication (scicomm). It's important for audiences to understand what science is doing for our society and how we are affecting it. However, scicommers like myself do not have a formal community where I can exchange ideas and experiences with other people who are in a similar position as me...until now! Virginia Schutte and Bethann Merkel join me on the podcast to talk about their newly launched podcast, called Meteor, that exists to help build a community of practice for Science Communicators.  The episode is one of my favourite episodes that I have...

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SUFB 1221: Should biologists work for natural resource companies for scientific studies? show art SUFB 1221: Should biologists work for natural resource companies for scientific studies?

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There was a great article on Mongabay News (link below) that asked the question as to whether marine biologists should work for natural resource companies that would like to mine the deep sea.  It's a more complicated question than you might think as marine biology is not well funded for governments, non-profit organizations, and academia. There are companies that have a vested interest that would like to utilize marine biologists to characterize the deep-sea habitat for their own purpose. The decision to work with deep-sea mining companies weighs heavily on every marine biologist. Most...

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SUFB 1220: Tracking Happy Humpback Whales show art SUFB 1220: Tracking Happy Humpback Whales

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The one thing that I love about doing this podcast is the fact that I can talk to people who have done amazing things in Marine Conservation. Sometimes, people are supported by large organizations/companies that help them get on their way to launching these amazing conservation projects. Other times, the people start the projects on their own and create something really special.  In today's episode, I speak with Ted Cheeseman who co-founded the site HappyWhale.com, a website that tracks humpback whales that have been identified by photos taken from citizen scientists from all over the...

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SUFB 1219: We need to talk about swim-with-dolphins in captivity programs show art SUFB 1219: We need to talk about swim-with-dolphins in captivity programs

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SUFB 1218: Can environmental documentaries be successful for marine conservation? show art SUFB 1218: Can environmental documentaries be successful for marine conservation?

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Did you hear the Brittany Spears may not be under conservatorship anymore and her father was removed as the head of said conservatorship? Wait...what? You are probably wondering what Brittany Spears has to do with marine conservation. You are right, it really doesn't, but the reason I know what is happening with Brittany Spears is because of a documentary on her that was centred around her conservatorship.  Documentaries can inspire audiences to support a pop star that is going through something personal or can help shut down orca shows at SeaWorld.  They are powerful tools for...

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SUFB 1217: Tracking the critically endangered wedgefishes in Mozambique show art SUFB 1217: Tracking the critically endangered wedgefishes in Mozambique

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A study is underway in Mozambique to study the distribution ranges of two species of wedgefishes family (bottlenose wedgefish and bowmouth guitarfish) to help better manage their population.  The species are considered critically endangered due to the fin-trade industry. The fish are either sought for their fins through catching them individually or as bycatch. The fin-trade can yield more money for the rays' fins that will bring in more revenue for the fishers than the meat from the rest of their body.  The study employs a new tactic in Mozambique, where it uses acoustic and...

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Seagrass monitoring projects are crucial to the overall health of coastal systems as seagrass beds all around the world are habitats of great biodiversity...and biodiversity make habitats more resistant to degradation. Unfortunately, monitoring projects are hard to start and maintain because it's difficult to find people to do the work on a consistent basis and it's difficult to find money to pay for the program. In comes community programs, or Ocean Citizen Science Projects.

Fiona West is the manager of the Broome Community Seagrass Program in the Kimberley Region of Northwest Australia. Her program has been in place for 11 years (that's a lot of data) that functions based on the work of citizen scientists (locals and tourists) who want to take care of the environment in this part of the world. The program is part of the Seagrass Watch program, an international program that provide citizen science programs with protocols and analysis support for their region.

Fiona describes how the program works and how the Aboriginal People and the Australian government have bee working together to establish a great program monitoring trends in this part of the world. 

Listen as Fiona speaks passionately about Broome Bay and the people who protect it.

Enjoy the Podcast!!!

Let me know what you think of the episode by joining our Facebook Group for the Podcast.

This episode was brought to you by Octo (Open Communications for The Oceans). Check out their recent MEAM (Marine Ecosystem And Management) issue helping inform the Marine Science and Conservation field around the world.

Support Speak Up For Blue's Efforts to create a free pr=resource program for Ocean Citizen Scientists to help move Marine Science and Conservation forward by collecting information for various Citizen Science program. Contribute to our Patreon Campaign