AUSTRALIA’S FISHING IS THE FASTEST-LAST-EDUCATED INDUSTRY in the world, and the world is working hard to get more of it.
That’s why the Government is now trying to raise money to create a $100 million research fund for Australia to fund more than a decade’s worth of research in the Great Barrier Reef.
In return, we’ll get more fish to eat, more tourists and more revenue for the Government.
For now, the Government will only fund the research to produce a working estimate of how much fish will need to be caught to sustain a healthy reef.
But if we can keep that number in the high thousands, then the money could help build more species and habitats for the reef and help boost the economy.
But we can’t do it without funding.
So here’s how the Government plans to do it.
First, it’ll need to find a way to collect the money.
For many years, researchers have had to go on boat trips to the reef to gather data and collect samples.
But the Government needs to find another way to make sure they get the job done.
For now, it’s a matter of asking the private sector to take on the bulk of the research.
The Government wants to use a similar process to the way it’s used to fund other research in agriculture and fisheries, where universities or other private institutions have the option of taking on the work.
This is an area of concern for many reef scientists, who are concerned that funding won’t be enough to keep the Great White Shark and other predators at bay.
So what can we do?
We can start by getting a lot of private money involved.
In 2015, Australia’s government allocated $100,000 per person for research into fish stocks, and $50,000 for the Great Blue Heron.
But this is only the first step.
To be successful, this needs to be an agreement with a number of private companies.
To make sure we’re on track, we’re already talking to major Australian businesses.
We’re talking to Australia’s largest fishing companies, like Pacific Rim.
We’ve even reached out to some of the biggest seafood processors in the country.
If we can reach an agreement, it could open up opportunities for research that can help us improve our fisheries, which, of course, will be good for the Reef.
So let’s get going.
What we need now are partners.
First, the Federal Government needs some people on board.
A key way to fund the Reef research is through the $50 million Great Barrier Shark Trust.
It was set up by the late Ian Stewart and has been funded by private and government money.
Its aim is to help secure a safe and sustainable future for the great white shark.
The Shark Trust’s scientists will be working alongside the Reef Fishery and Aquaculture Research Institute, which works on fisheries conservation, as well as with the Reef Marine Science Centre and the Reef Aquacultural Research Centre.
We need to get the Reef Fisheries Institute’s head in place, and have it work with the Shark Trust to get funding.
That would give the Reef the funding needed to keep our Great Barrier reef alive.
Second, we need to have some public involvement.
Many scientists and fishers are worried about how they’ll be able to make ends meet.
Research has shown that, by 2050, fisheries will be in a deficit.
Even with the reef at a healthy state, the Great Northern Reef, which includes Great Barrier and Torres Strait islands, will have a $1.6 billion deficit.
So the Government wants private companies to play a big part in the Reef Research Trust.
And we need public participation.
And finally, the Reef Conservation Society needs a new way forward.
The Reef Conservation Institute is one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with over 40,000 members.
And it’s not only the reef scientists who are worried.
They’re worried about the reef’s future.
But in the last couple of years, there’s been a lot more concern about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The Garbage patches are places where animals like dolphins, whales and sea turtles dump their rubbish, which is an indicator that there’s a lot less trash than people think.
Over the past two decades, more and more scientists have come out with dire predictions about the future of the Great Australian Bight.
So we need an effective solution.
Once we’ve got the Reef and Great Barrier Sharks back in the fold, we can start to focus on the Great Marine Bight, which stretches from New South Wales to Victoria.
Then, with a bit of support from the Reef Management Council, we could have a much better chance of recovering the Great Great Barrier in the near future.
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