Engaging the community on ocean health

WA World Ocean Day was a wide-ranging and stimulating discussion between experts and the audience on the challenges faced by the ocean globally and actions we can all take to protect it.

Presented by The Jock Clough Marine Foundation at Gage Roads Brew Co in Fremantle on June 8, this free event brought together expert panels and a highly engaged audience with a strong turnout from the community, especially young people.

Whadjuk Noongar Elder Professor Len Collard (The University of Western Australia) delivered the Welcome to Country, followed by a panel discussion ‘Sustainable Seas & Future Keys: Unlocking and protecting our ocean’s potential.’

Insights were shared by sustainability professional Rebecca Prince-Ruiz OAM (Plastic Free July), Dr Jordan Goetze (Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions) and coral reef restoration scientist, Dr Taryn Foster (Coral Maker).

Also sharing their knowledge, experiences, and views in the panel discussion ‘The Wonder in our Blue Backyard’ were Shark Bay traditional custodian Michael Wear (Tidal Moon), marine ecologist Dr Sahira Bell (Great Southern Reef Foundation) and globally renowned deep sea expert Professor Alan Jamieson (Minderoo-UWA Deep-Sea Research Centre).

Discussions with the audience were moderated by Mr Jock Clough and Dr Charlotte Birkmanis. Marine biologist, shark scientist and wildlife science communicator Dr Charlotte Birkmanis, known as the ‘PR Manager’ for sharks and our oceans, coordinated the event as Director of The Jock Clough Marine Foundation.

Mr Jock Clough inaugurated the first WA World Ocean Day event last year. With degrees in Marine Biology and Engineering, he is Chair of the Advisory Board to the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute and a trustee of The Jock Clough Marine Foundation. Mr Clough is actively involved with marine science research and conservation.

“Here in Western Australia, we are fortunate to have nearly 13,000 kilometres of breath-taking coastline as our home,” he said.

“The ocean is part of our history, culture and way of life and we need to take action to ensure this incredible resource stays healthy and vibrant for generations to come.”

Mr Clough is a Park Ambassador and a valued supporter of the WA Parks Foundation.