Dredging Discussed at AIMS Open Day

Business & Finance

The success of marine scientists and the importance of their work supporting Australia’s growing ‘blue economy’ was highlighted during yesterday’s Australian Institute of Marine Science Open Day.

Parliamentary Secretary Karen Andrews visited the open day, held at AIMS’s headquarters at Cape Cleveland, near Townsville and adjacent to the center of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Marine industries, our ‘blue economy,’ contributed an estimated $47.2 billion to Australia’s economy in 2011-12, having almost doubled over the last decade. This growth is set to continue, creating challenges and opportunities for Australia,” Mrs Andrews said. “AIMS’s research in Townsville and across Australia is essential to developing safe and sustainable marine industries.

AIMS’s research focuses on areas of local and national significance:

Ground breaking experiments and field expeditions exploring ways in which science can help corals and other marine organisms to adapt to the warmer and more-acidic ocean conditions that have been predicted;

Important studies examining factors contributing to outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish, a marine pest responsible for the loss of coral on the Great Barrier Reef, along with practical strategies to address them;

New studies investigating the impacts of dredging on corals and other key marine species to improve knowledge of the environmental consequences of the opening and expansion of ports;

Ongoing research to support environmentally sustainable marine industries; in particular the offshore oil and gas sector.