Welcome to the latest national marine science community update.

The National Marine Science Committee (NMSC) met in Canberra on 19 October.  Issues discussed included marine environmental variables of interest to Defence, status of national research infrastructure planning, and advancing the role of marine science in Australia’s blue economy.

Tapping into Australia's love of fish and fishing, the Commonwealth Fisheries Policy Statement was released on 28 September 2017. In noting the importance of having a carefully and sustainably managed resource, the Statement sets out the Australian Government's plan for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.  The Statement cites the National Marine Science Plan, which emphasises the importance of research, infrastructure, skills, partnerships and investment for science-based decision-making.

The Perth US Asia Centre has hosted a series of ‘In The Zone’ conferences since 2009, aimed at discussing Australia’s place in the Indo-Pacific Region.  This year’s event focused on the maritime realm.  ‘In the Zone: The Blue Zone Conference’ was held in Perth on 2 October 2017.  A number of NMSC members were invited speakers.  In her keynote address, The Hon. Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, referenced the National Marine Science Plan, noting that the annual economic contribution of Australia's marine industries is forecasted to grow to around $100 billion by 2025. This is double the growth forecast for the rest of the Australian economy.

Dr Anthony Bergin, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), published an article on ‘The UN Oceans Conference and Australia’s blue economy’.  In the context of international attention on the sustainable development of oceans, and the importance of oceans for Australia as a nation. Dr Bergin highlights some key issues which resonate with those set out in the National Marine Science Plan (2015-25), including the importance of research infrastructure and sound fisheries management for regional food security.

Please visit our website for more updates, news and information on the activities of the National Marine Science Committee,

Regards,

Tim Moltmann, Chair
on behalf of the National Marine Science Committee

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