As highlighted in Australia’s National Marine Science Plan our vast coasts and oceans are the heritage, heart and economic future of our country. Whilst remaining vibrant, beautiful ecosystems of immense value to Australians and the world, global and local actions are urgently needed to protect our coasts and oceans from many threats and pressures but especially the impacts of climate change and cumulative impacts.
Marine research and traditional knowledge are key to the future of our coasts and oceans by creating the data, knowledge, technology and innovation to inform conservation and sustainable development by helping governments, industries, Traditional Custodians and communities make evidence-based decisions, mitigate risk and understand trade-offs.
The Australian Marine Sciences Association is one of Australia's oldest science professional organisations. Over its sixty years it has grown to be the major professional association for marine scientists from all disciplines in Australia. We have and continue to play an essential role in ensuring the future health of Australia’s coasts and oceans.
As AMSA members we need to do more of this by understanding the needs of the users of our research and be ready and willing to engage and give clear answers when asked for advice by politicians, governments, the community and stakeholders. Remember it isn’t an academic discussion and we should heed the advice of science historian Naomi Oreskes when dealing with science, public trust and information – “when asked a question answer it and stop” we don’t need all the qualifiers that characterise academic conversation.
It is an honour to be an AMSA marine scientist but each of us has a responsibity to help ensure the health of our coasts and oceans.
Ian Poiner PhD FTSE HonDSc