Friday 8 June 2012
With just over one week to go before the Australian Museum’s new Deep Oceans exhibition opens, the museum is celebrating World Oceans Day (Friday 8 June) by reminding people to play their part in helping to protect the largest habitat on Earth – the ocean.
Australian Museum Scientist, Dr Nerida Wilson is one of few people in the world to have travelled to the deep ocean.
Dr Wilson – who has participated in numerous oceanographic expeditions including a dive in the Deep Submergence Vehicle, Alvin – urged everyone to consider how their everyday actions can impact on the unique, and largely unexplored, ocean environment.
"While using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to sample a whale carcass in the deep Pacific Ocean, we saw a plastic bag cart wheeling past the camera, at several thousand metres,” she said.
“It certainly shows how far-reaching our impacts are, even if it is in places we don't get to see very often.”
Dr Wilson said the world’s oceans are more at risk than ever before but there are many simple steps that people can take to help support the long term health of our oceans.
“Managing deep sea fisheries to help conserve species and their habitats is a global challenge, but we can all play a prt by choosing sustainable seafoods. We can avoid buying things like Hoki, Blue Grenadier or Orange Roughy (deep sea perch),” Dr Wilson said.
“Ocean acidification is caused by the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels but we can all try using less energy to reduce our carbon footprints.”
“Of course, making a difference can be as simple as leaving reusable, calico or ‘green’ shopping bags in the car and remembering to take them with you when you go grocery shopping,” she said.
Discover more about ocean conservation in Deep Oceans – opening 16 June at the Australian Museum.
DID YOU KNOW...
- Nearly 71% of our planet is covered in ocean.
- Australia is only the sixth largest country in the world, but is responsible for the largest area of ocean. With maritime territories covering 14.62 million square kilometres, we are responsible for more ocean than dry land!