For many commercial and recreational fishers, marine protected areas (where fishing is excluded) are viewed with scepticism.
Critics have questioned the legitimacy of what is referred to as the spillover effect — where excluding fishing is hypothesised to produce ecological and/or commercial fishing benefits beyond the boundaries of the protected area.
Researchers compared catch rates outside the world’s largest marine protected area off Hawaii, before and after fishing was excluded
Yellowfin tuna catch rates were boosted by 60 per cent within 100 nautical miles of the boundary, and total “other” species were also higher
Increased tuna catch rates were seen for 300 nautical miles from the boundary
But research published today in Science suggests fishing exclusion zones can benefit both fishers and the marine environment, and that fish yields for some species can be boosted up to several hundred kilometres away from the protected habitat.
Global warming is a global phenomenon but there’s many things gardeners can do to help on a local scale. Jerry uses battery powered tools that can be recharged via the solar power on his roof which prevents greenhouse gas emissions. A push-driven mower also has no reliance on fuels and starts first time every time! Growing plants helps store carbon in soils by taking carbon dioxide in from the atmosphere and turning it into plant tissue. Mangroves are some of best plant communities for storing carbon but trees like eucalypts are great choices with small varieties available for the home garden, and if providing shade on the northern or western side of your house you’ll need less air conditioning to keep cool and save on emissions that way too.
Composting garden and kitchen waste where possible will avoid emissions from councils having to take your waste to the tip. And the compost won’t just increase biological activity, water holding capacity, and fertility of your soil, it will also store carbon! The earth can store ten times more carbon in the soil than it can in the atmosphere. Jerry regularly measures the amount of carbon in his soil and it’s increasing by about 1% each year, which means he’s stopping a huge amount of greenhouse gas getting into the atmosphere just by working in homemade compost.
Choosing the right fertiliser is also important and Jerry uses organic fertiliser like animal manures as they have the nutrients your plants need whilst avoiding the greenhouse gases emitted in the production of synthetic fertilisers. Synthetic fertilisers can also generate nitrous oxide in the soil, a potent greenhouse gas.
The distance food has to be transported to get to you is known as ‘food miles’. The greater the food miles the greater the fossil fuel emissions resulting from the food you consume. But food grown at home only has to go from garden to kitchen! Most of the onions eaten in Brisbane come from South Australia or Tasmania, as they can be unreliable to grow in the Queensland climate. So, Jerry grow subtropical substitutes like spring onion and society garlic that are just as easy and tasty as ordinary onions. Citrus fruits are an internationally traded commodity but with a little space you can grow one at home and they are very rewarding!
Don’t despair about global warming, get into your patch and do something about it.
Yuggera Country | Brisbane, QLD
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An estimated 26 per cent of the greater glider population in East Gippsland, Victoria, was killed in the 2019–2020 bushfire catastrophe, when more than 1.5 million ha of Victoria’s bushland burned. This is a devastating blow to the population of the already threatened species.
The Victorian National Parks Association hopes to secure habitat for the surviving greater gliders by launching a campaign to protect Wombat State Forest, the westernmost part of the species’ range. Being designated state forest, it can be logged at any time. But the campaign hopes to protect the forest by proposing that it be turned into a new national park.
Make a difference. Please donate today. Funds raised will help save and support the greater glider population.
If you’re interested in supporting other environmental projects — we encourage you to consider the Australian Geographic Society Fundraising efforts. Check out their current campaigns.
PHOTOGRAPH BY FRANS LANTING, NAT GEO IMAGE COLLECTION
Our friends at National Geographic have built a long history and stellar reputation documenting our world with captivating photographs and educational stories. As tourism numbers swell and wildlife habitat shrink — its more important than ever to respect and preserve wildlife and photos continue to be a powerful tool to communicate and achieve this.
A number of National Geographic photographers have shared their insights and experience in capturing compelling photos while maintaining an ethical respect for the animals being photographed. Its important to not let your sense of urgency or immediacy overshadow the animal’s circumstance nor impact their habitat or behaviour.