Protecting Ocean Science Jobs

Protecting Ocean Science Jobs

Protecting Ocean Science Jobs

Australia is at the forefront of cutting-edge science for studying its oceans and ecosystems. If we’re going to solve the climate crisis and protect our oceans — protecting science jobs should be one of our highest priorities. 

PetitionRead More

Work:

Pete has fought hard over many years to protect the jobs and research capacity we have in Tasmania and Australia in climate science and Southern Ocean science. He headed the Senate Select Committee inquiry into job cuts at CSIRO and is campaigning now for continuity in climate funding which will give certainty to Tasmania’s world-renowned science community and position as Australia’s Antarctic gateway.

Wins:

N

Successfully worked with Labor as chair of the Senate Select Committee to have CSIRO climate science job cuts reversed.

Wants:

Long-term funding continuity in Southern Ocean, climate and Antarctic science funding, including the full implementation of the Clarke Report recommendations.

Warming Oceans

Warming Oceans

Warming Oceans

Pete has spent years inquiring into, raising awareness of and campaigning against the catastrophic impacts of global warming on marine ecosystems around Australia, indeed the globe.

Pete recently delivered an impassioned speech in the Senate regarding the death of our oceans. The speech went viral and was reported on by a number of international news agencies.

Pete has been outspoken in demanding that UNESCO must consider climate change impacts when assessing the status of the world’s coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef.

He has been especially active in talking to Tasmanian communities about the loss of their giant kelp forests, the decline of commercial and recreational fisheries from warming oceans and the impact of invasive long-spined sea urchins (Centrostephanus rodgersii) off Tasmania’s reefs.

 

Wins:

N

Initiated and chaired a landmark Senate inquiry into the impacts of warming oceans on marine ecosystems and the importance of Southern Ocean Science.

N

Chaired Senate inquiry into the $444m grant to the private Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Wants:

l

For the Federal Government and big business to act now to address ocean warming by limiting carbon emissions.

U

A review of all environment and natural resource legislation to account for climate change, to look to incorporate a greenhouse trigger in the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, and to take steps towards the establishment of an independent National Oceans Commissioner.

To regularly review the network of existing marine reserves in light of the impacts of climate change, look to increase the no-take zones to build further climate resilience, and explicitly include climate targets within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2050 plan.

Whaling

Whaling

Whaling

The expansion of whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries sent many species of whales  to the brink of extinction. A global moratorium on the slaughter of whales was enacted in 1986. However, many countries still pursue commercial whaling today. Whales play a big part in the health of our oceans as part of the food chain. 

Opposing Cruel and Barbaric Whaling

Pete has been a vocal critic of Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean in the past decade. He rose to international prominence on this issue when in 2013 he gate-crashed a diplomatic function in Canberra and gave the Japanese Prime Minister a hand-written letter from Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson, urging Japan to cease its commercial whaling in the Antarctic.

Pete has also been the only Australian politician to visit Japan and lobby its politicians and parliament directly to listen to the wishes of Australians and end this unnecessary practice. He also gave an impassioned speech at the Japanese Foreign Correspondents Club in 2017.

 

Work:

Every year Pete worked with community groups and environmental organisations such as Sea Shepherd, Humane Society International, Greenpeace and Australian Marine Conservation Society to pressure the Australian Government to uphold their election promises to patrol the Southern Ocean and put pressure on Japan to end whaling. In 2018 Japan announced it would cease whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Pete also wrote to the Left-Green Prime Minister of Iceland lobbying against Iceland’s whaling activities and has written to Tasmania’s Queen Mary of Denmark to oppose Denmark’s support of whaling in the Faroe Islands.

Wins:

N

Part of a broad, consistent campaign that saw Japan formally end whaling in the Southern Ocean after decades of slaughter.

N

Proposed Senate motions passed by all political parties condemning Japan for whaling and leaving the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

N
Initiated a Senate inquiry into Australia’s future activities and responsibilities in the Southern Ocean, including policing illegal whaling.

Wants:

Q

An end to all commercial whaling, everywhere.

Have Japan re-join the IWC.

Oil & Gas

Oil & Gas

Oil & Gas

The climate emergency doesn’t stop where the land meets our oceans. Resource exploration and extraction from sensitive waters has united conservationists and professional and recreational fishers. Oil and gas cannot be allowed to take over our oceans. The evolving technology of seismic testing is threatening marine life. Scientific research has shown seismic testing can injure and kill crustaceans, shellfish, and plankton. But just how much more harm it is doing is unknown, including to other marine life such as dolphins and whales.

Asset 2

Fight For The Bight

Ocean lovers from around Australia have united in helping to protect the Great Australian Bight from the existential threat of oil and gas exploration and extraction. Just one spill would have a devastating impact on the rich marine environment, and spread to Tasmania, Victoria, and as far as the New South Wales coast.

Power To The People

As an avid surfer and former board member of the Surfrider Foundation, Pete has joined the wide coalition of ocean defenders in ‘paddle outs’ around Australia. The strength of these events has helped send a very clear message to would-be oil and gas explorers that they are not welcome.

Wins:

N

Established a Senate inquiry into the effects of seismic testing upon fisheries and the marine environment.

Wants:

Q

An end to oil and gas exploration in Australian waters to begin addressing the effects of carbon emissions on the environment.

Fisheries

Fisheries

Salmon Farming & Fisheries

Overfishing, salmon farming, and poor regulation are all having adverse effects on the health of our oceans. 

Pushing for Fisheries Reform

Pete has pushed for fisheries reform by advocating precautionary principles and an emphasis on ecosystems science and research. He continues to fight for a proper set of marine parks based on science that actually protects our oceans for future generations.

Pursuing the Tasmanian Salmon Industry

Pete has scrutinised Tasmania’s salmon industry and its appalling track record in damaging Tasmania’s marine environment and coastal communities.

Wins:

N

Led the federal parliamentary campaign to successfully ban industrial super trawlers from plundering Australia’s oceans and ecosystems.

N

Initiated scrutiny of the salmon industry via a Senate inquiry which made a series of recommendations adopted by the Tasmanian Government.

Wants:

l

Reform of Australian fisheries management to include more ecosystem-based science and a precautionary approach to fisheries management.

Q

A moratorium on all new salmon farm expansions in Tasmania.

Sharks

Sharks

Sharks

Sharks are an ancient species with some fossils dating back over 400 million years. They play a crucial role in the food chain and creating a healthy ocean environment. Sadly, due to culling and overfishing many species of shark face extinction.

Shark attacks a tragedy but don’t deserve tabloid sensationalism

As a keen surfer, Pete knows that while every injury or death from a shark encounter is a tragedy, these events do not deserve the tabloid sensationalism they are given, and that when we enter the ocean, we choose to be in the shark’s habitat.

Our efforts to net, catch and cull sharks as a response does not have an impact on these encounters, and has led to the deaths of thousands of other ocean species. Only through using evidence-based approaches that help us understand shark (and human) behaviour, can we start to find ways forward that protect us and avoid needlessly killing marine animals.

Pete chaired the Senate inquiry into Shark mitigation and deterrent measures. He established this inquiry following concerns that Great White sharks were likely to be delisted from EPBC protection and the impending new rollouts of shark nets in northern NSW without any federal environmental impact assessments.

Shark Nets And Drum Lines

Shark nets and drum lines are notorious for killing species other than their target shark species, and there is a lack of evidence that shark nets remove or materially reduce the risk of shark bites. Shark nets do not seek to enclose beaches to prevent sharks accessing beaches, but rather seek to entangle and kill sharks.

In the process the nets also catch and kill marine life like turtles, dolphins and whales, and endangered sharks. Similarly, drum lines do not discriminate which species they hook.

i

The report is the culmination of 10 public hearings right around the Australian coastline from Perth to Cairns. The committee heard from ecologists, local communities, government agencies, Surf Life Saving organisations, first responders and shark bite victims.

It is the most comprehensive report on shark encounter risk and mitigation methods carried out in Australia. The report notes that technology is rapidly developing in terms of personal and whole-of-beach scale deterrence devices, and along with drones and phone-apps, this allows us to set a timeline for the full withdrawal of shark nets around the country.

Wins:

N

Placing the protection of all species from lethal shark culling practices in front of policy-makers across the country to consider how to better respond to shark bites objectively and critically, using evidence-based approaches.

Wants:

Q

An end to the use of shark nets and baited drum lines that kill both sharks and many other ocean species.

The continual education of the public regarding the devastation that lethal methods have inflicted, and awareness of other ways to reduce shark encounters that avoid killing marine life.

A national body established to gather evidence and test the usefulness of emerging technology and information that can establish non-lethal methods of protecting humans from shark encounters, and also protect our precious marine life from unnecessary harm.

Any state currently using fixed lethal drum lines should immediately replace them with smart drum lines, to reduce the impact on marine life, and also to gather better evidence about shark ecology.