Our Achievements

Since its establishment in 1989, OceanWatch Australia has managed and administered a broad range of successful projects to improve environmental practices, protect threatened marine species, reduce by-catch, introduce sustainable technologies, change behaviours and restore important marine habitats.

Our SeaNet extension service achievements are many – see our 10 years of achievements brochure.

Our Tide to Table program also has had many successes – see our DVD.

Successes:

OceanWatch Australia is a well respected and credible company that delivers effective outcomes and received national and international recognition for some of our work, particularly relating to the introduction of sustainable fishing gear and other new technologies.

OceanWatch has won a number of national and international awards and successfully worked to have the seafood industry recognised and integrated into regional natural resource management process across Australia.

Through SeaNet staff,  OceanWatch Australia has made a difference in most of the 135 or so Australian fisheries, and interacted face-to-face with about 7,000 Australian wildcatch fishers and many others in the industry.

Our SeaNet successes include:

  • major reductions in accidental capture and by-catch of marine turtles, seals and sea lions, sea snakes, sea birds, dugong, whales, dolphins and sharks, whilst assisting industry to remain internationally competitive
  • the development and adoption of fishery specific Environmental Management Systems, Codes of Practice and Codes of Conduct in many fisheries around Australia.
  • strong industry member participation in hands-on workshops and sea trials of new measures and gear as well as cooperatively producing best practice technical guides and handbooks
  • working in partnership with researchers, government agencies and industry associations – implementing new policies, regulations, guidelines, improved practices and new technologies
  • major clean-ups of beach and coastal areas with the collaboration of industry members
  • development of good working relationships with fishers, industry councils, associations and cooperatives as well as environmental and community groups around Australia
  • recognition through winning national and international awards for ground-breaking work.

Awards:

OceanWatch Australia has won the following awards for its work:

  • RiverCare 2000 Award, 1995 – SILVER AWARD, Tertiary Industry – Ocean Watch Commerical Fisheries Project
  • WA Department of Fisheries Community Stewardship Award (2006) for OWA’s Western Australian SeaNet Officer Carl Bevilacqua and the Kalbarri Professional Fisherman’s Association for their efforts in July 2005 at the Dirk Hartog Island cleanup where lobster fishermen and Carl spent 4 days cleaning rubbish off two extremely remote beaches on this historic island.
  • SA Seafood Industry Future Environment Awards (2005)
  • Australian Seafood Industry Environment Award (2005). This award recognises the significant contribution OceanWatch Australia has made to protecting and enhancing fish habitat and building sustainable fisheries.
  • United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award for Excellence (2005) in Marine and Coastal Management for its SeaNet Program.
  • Banksia Award for the Carpentaria Ghost Nets Program (2006). The Carpentaria Ghost Net Program was joint winner of the prestigious Banksia Environmental Award for Water. The Carpentaria Ghost Net Program was organised as an alliance of indigenous rangers groups, government agencies in northern Australian and non-government organisations including OceanWatch Australia to stop the ghost nets in the Gulf of Carpentaria
  • Honourable mention in the WWF SmartGear International Competition with the Popeye Fish Excluder developed for use in the northern prawn fisheries(2005)

Testimonials:

SeaNet

SeaNet provides an important bridge between the seafood industry and the community through its promotion of environmental stewardship.’

Chris Smyth, Healthy Oceans Campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation

FRDC recognises the critical importance of extension as an integral part of the R&D function. At the end of the day it is about changing people’s behaviour, and that is the essence of SeaNet’

Peter Neville Chair, FRDC

‘SeaNet is the only full time, professional extension service operating within the Australian seafood industry’

Peter Dundas-Smith, Chair, Australian Seafood CRC

Tide to Table

The Tide to Table project provides an effective vehicle for initiating constructive dialogue between land holders and the seafood industry. The ability of Tide to Table to approach environmental issues from an industry perspective is a key factor contributing to the success of the program.
Anthony Zammit Manager, NSW Shellfish Program, NSW Food Authority

Tide to Table has opened up lines of communication between the fishing industry and members of the broader community through education and participation, leading to a better understanding of the environment in which industry and the rest of the community rely on.
Rolf Norington, Estuary Prawn Trawl Management Advisory Committee Industry Representative, and active Hawkesbury fisher.

“The fisherman are really the measuring stick of how our rivers are actually going. This [Tide to Table program] provides a great chance to hear things from their perspective and see first hand how fish and water quality are holding up”
Phil Mercer, BBC Reporter

“Tide to Table means that farmers – whether of water or land – think about and solve environmental issues around them. Through the [Tide to Table] projects they’re able to help each other to help themselves,”
Rachel King, EO, Seafood CRC Oyster Consortium