More than 100 researchers from the University of Tasmania and CSIRO will be joined by international experts for a five-day workshop next week at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) in Hobart on the future of the world’s oceans.
The Future Seas Workshop, beginning on Monday (11 November), will bring together scientists, economists, public health experts, social scientists, engineers, and legal and governance experts to discuss challenges facing the oceans and future research priorities.
The workshop convenor, IMAS and Centre for Marine Socioecology Professor Gretta Pecl, said the researchers would be joined by traditional and indigenous representatives from seven countries to help develop plans that could be implemented during the UN Ocean Science Decade from 2021 to 2030.
“Our oceans are under increasing pressure due to growing demand for natural resources at a time of unprecedented environmental changes,” Professor Pecl said.
“In Tasmania, we are seeing those pressures first hand, such as marine heatwaves and changes to local ecosystems, as well as human impacts from pollution, tourism and rising demand for seafood as the human population continues to grow.
“Addressing such complex challenges cannot be done by one sector or group of people working in isolation - it requires collaboration across academic disciplines, communities, industries and governments.
“The workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers to discuss 12 key ocean challenges that we have identified, ranging from climate change, food security and governance to health and indigenous issues,” Professor Pecl said.
“The researchers will be joined by representatives from Greenland, Finland, Taiwan, Canada, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia to articulate their vision for the oceans from an indigenous perspective.
“The workshop will discuss what the oceans may look like by 2030 on current trends, and how we can work together to make a difference.
“Our goal is to develop possible actions through this process that could be part of local, regional and global plans during the UN Ocean Science Decade,” Professor Pecl said.
Image of the Southern Ocean: Pete Harmsen.