Sharing across the sea

Dr Kim Friedman has been awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship.  Picture: Andrew Ritchie   d439915
Dr Kim Friedman has been awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d439915

Dr Friedman said any changes to neighbouring countries� marine ecosystems were in effect a change for Australia�s and more needed to be done to ensure information was as dynamic and open between nations as the ecosystems they shared.

The North Beach resident was awarded a Churchill Fellowship earlier this month, providing him $25,000 to travel to neighbouring countries to improve communication of marine science between nations.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife principal marine research scientist said he hoped to develop a uniform method of communication between neighbouring nations in a bid to improve conservation efforts.

�We�re no longer looking after small, unconnected pieces of the planet. We realise now that the planet, especially the oceans, are highly dynamic and connected and the sooner we can get together with our neighbours and help each other learn, the better we will all be for it,� Dr Friedman said.

�I think there are between 200 and 300 million people in Indonesia. They�re our next door neighbours and the animals we care for are travelling between our waters and their waters and the major habitats that we have here, they have there.�

Dr Friedman said Australia�s marine ecosystems would not be the only thing to benefit from improved communication.

�In general, the most successful businesses are the ones with the best information and I believe that we can share our information to the benefit of people working on the environment, and that�s where I hope to go with this fellowship,� he said.

�Both the oil and gas industry and State Government are investing heavily to try to understand what changes they�re causing and try to make sure that we�ve got the right management around those systems to ensure the same animals and plants operate in the same way in the future.�

Dr Friedman said he planned to discuss environmental pressures with stakeholders in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and China, and help establish protocols for information sharing.