volunteers led a dive near Hobart with their newest member, Australian Federal Minister for the Environment, Mr. Greg Hunt. Meanwhile, at the other end of the continent, another group of RLS divers conducted surveys near Galiwinku with the Gumurr Marthakal Rangers.
In Tasmania, volunteers, German Soler, John Turnbull, and Margo Smith, along with the Minister, surveyed Tinderbox Marine Reserve, where they spotted the common blue throated wrasse (Notolabrus tetricus) and some huge crays (ie. southern rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii). Pieter van der Woude, with Tasmanian Boat Charters, transported the divers to the reserve on the lovely 20 metre vessel, the Odalisque. After his dive, Mr. Hunt visited the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) to announce the new $24 million Marine Biodiversity Hub, within which, research based on the RLS data to improve state of the environment reporting and marine reserve monitoring is an important component.
Meanwhile, up in the Northern Territory, Graham Edgar, Sue Baker, Laura Smith and Ben Jones were diving with a group from Elcho Island, found north of East Arnhem. The Gumurr Marthakal Rangers – Limurrung Djama, which is a Northern Australia National Environmental Research Program, conduct a wide range of projects including protecting native wildlife through monitoring, stewardship and education as well as promoting healthy communities and traditional culture. Click this link for more information on the Marthakal Indigenous Protected Area Plan.