Australia's oceans contain the richest, most diverse life on Earth. We have the third largest marine territory (behind the United States and France), and our continent borders three mighty oceans - the Pacific, Indian and Southern Ocean.
Such global significance brings a global responsibility. We have a privilege and a duty to manage our oceans wisely and with the future in mind. Our island nation has lost so much already, but in almost 50 years since our inception, AMCS has made great gains to preserve what we have and recover what we've lost.
Just like national parks on land, marine national parks are places in the sea where wildlife and their habitats are protected. They are essential to protecting the ocean's rich diversity of life, allowing fish, corals and wildlife to spawn, breed and grow. AMCS has been pivotal in pushing for just about every marine park in Australia.
From Australia's tropical north to our cool southern seas, we've got a whole lot of wildlife to be proud of. But due to a history of hunting, overfishing and exploitation, many of our marine species are threatened with extinction. AMCS works every day to protect and recover our threatened marine wildlife.
The fish we choose today directly affects the health of our oceans tomorrow. In response to growing public concern about fishing impacts on our oceans, AMCS produced an independent guide for those who love their seafood but also love their oceans.
Sharks are in serious trouble in every part of our ocean planet. Scientists estimate that 73-100 million sharks are killed every year, primarily for their fins. And here in Australia, from the Great Barrier Reef to our cool southern seas, we're sending shark fins overseas by the tonne, to service the shameful international trade in shark fin.
Great Barrier Reef
Australia's precious Great Barrier Reef is currently under threat from rapid industrialisation that will see millions of tonnes of sea floor dredged and dumped on the Reef. It's under threat from more massive coal ships and their increased risk of accidents and oil spills. Australia needs a healthy reef. It's our greatest natural asset. Will you join the Fight for the Reef?
Compared to other countries, Australia's waters are relatively nutrient-poor and have low productivity. This is due to our old continent, low rainfall and tropical ocean currents. We have a high diversity of marine life, but we simply can't produce large volumes of fish like our nutrient-rich neighbours in New Zealand, Africa and South America. We need to fish lightly and intelligently.
Every piece of plastic we have ever used is still on the planet today. Millions of tonnes of plastic enters our oceans every year. The plastic cycle starts at the shops, spills onto the streets, reaches our oceans and injures and kills our ocean wildlife.
Global climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our oceans. As a result of post-industrial carbon emissions we have poured into the Earth's atmosphere our coral reefs are bleaching and our oceans are becoming more acidic. Big changes are looming if we don't act now.
The planet's whales are still only just recovering from 19th and 20th century commercial whaling, which pushed most of our ocean giants to the edge of extinction. These intellient and social marine mammals still face a myriad of pressures, from pollution, to sesimic testing to so called 'scientific whaling'. Learn more...
Banner image: Emperor shrimp on blue linckia seastar by Troy Mayne, Oceanic Imagery.