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Marine WATERs - Western Australia - Teacher Education Resources Government of Western Australia

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Commercial Crayfish

Posted on: June 21, 2013

Rock lobster crate

Rock lobster batten pot

As prices for some grades of Western rock lobster tip over the $60 per kilo mark, we are proud to a release a brand new lesson plan investigating the management of this iconic commercial fishery in Western Australia.

The Western Rock Lobster Managed Fishery is historically Australia’s largest single species fishery and is the only fishery in the world that has been accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council as sustainable three times running – learn more here. Despite demonstrating world best practice, the fishery has experienced a tumultuous period of record low recruitment of young lobsters since 2007 while the management of the fishery has also been transformed from gear-based to a quota-based.

The Commercial Crayfish lesson plan has been designed for year 11–12 students and focuses on the current quota management regime and the research program undertaken that helps predict future lobster catches. The lesson plans comes with an added bonus of a Western rock lobster life cycle poster that students can use to gain a better understanding of lobster biology in Activity 1, along with our existing fact sheet.

In Activity 2, students assume the role of a Managed Fishery Licence holder and complete a Catch Disposal Record just like a real fishing operation! In Activity 3, students will the learn about the research program used to predict future catches and work with a data set obtained from our sampling station at Seven-Mile Beach near Dongara.

Like a plated dish of half-shell crayfish mornay… Bon appetite! (Click here)

Australian Curriculum Outcomes: ACSIS145, ACSHE136, ACSIS234, ACSSU176, ACSHE157, ACSHE160, ACSIS169, ACSHE194, ACSIS199, ACSIS203.

What’s My Age Again?

Posted on: April 12, 2013

Cake - Chelseas Culinary Creations

Cake made by Chelseas Culinary Creations

Guess who just had a birthday? We are proud to announce that Marine WATERs (Western Australian Teacher Education Resources) turned two years old last week, so we thought it was a good opportunity to say thanks to everyone for their support and positive feedback. We have been truly amazed with the response from teachers and educators – with over 2,500 registered users accessing our resources, including people from all over Australia and around the world. Of course, this initiative would not have been possible without the support of Woodside Energy.

In two years we have been able to develop 47 comprehensive curriculum-linked lesson plans for primary and secondary levels, plus an array of fact sheets, presentations and other resource materials. In fact, things got a little cluttered towards the end of last year so we hope you have been enjoying our website upgrade to help you locate resources quickly and easily. Being able to search for the Australian Curriculum code specific to the outcomes for the year level you teach was just one of the clever features rolled out with the facelift.

For our Western Australian registered users we have developed Teacher Guides on Marine WATERs. These guides assist those teachers taking advantage of our Department of Fisheries school excursions at Hillarys or incursions with some of our regional programs. The teacher guides demonstrate how Marine WATERs resources should be incorporated into your teaching-learning program prior to and after a Department of Fisheries led activity.

It wouldn’t be a Marine WATERs blog without profiling one of our favourite lesson plans and it’s very obvious this time round – What’s My Age Again? In this lesson plan students learn how fisheries management agencies monitor the health of fish stock using fish otoliths, also known as ear stones. Similar to the growth rings of a tree, these otoliths are used to help age fish. We have developed two presentations that can be used with your students to ‘age’ fish without even leaving the classroom! The Department of Fisheries also runs a community campaign called Send Us Your Skeletons, asking fishers to donate the fish frames of particular species to our research division so that they can extract otoliths, age fish and monitor the health of some of Western Australia’s favourite fish species. What’s My Again? not only deals with real science, students can also assume the role of a ‘citizen scientist’ next time they head out fishing.

Thanks again everyone and we always like to hear how you are using our Marine WATERs resources and how they benefit you and your students, so please don’t be shy and drop us a line at education@fish.wa.gov.au.

Australian Curriculum Outcomes: ACELY1725, ACELY1736, ACELY1746, ACELY1756, ACMSP169, ACMSP206, ACMSP284, ACSHE120, ACSHE227, ACSHE228, ACSHE230, ACSIS103, ACSIS107,ACSIS129, ACSIS139, ACSIS145, ACSIS169, ACSIS221, ACSIS232

 

Free Professional Learning Session

Posted on: February 8, 2013

Plankton collector net in Shark Bay.

Plankton collector net in Shark Bay.

Welcome back to term 1.  We hope you all had an enjoyable break and have returned to school feeling fresh and ready to implement some new ideas.  This year we hope to inspire you with some great new ideas in our professional learning sessions.  Our first session kicks off on Thursday 21st February at 3.45pm at the Naturaliste Marine Discovery Centre.

In this session we’ll be covering the excursion activity Science of Sampling.  In this activity, students learn about a range of sampling techniques used by Department of Fisheries research scientists to collect information about various fisheries in Western Australia.

Follow this activity up in the classroom with the Marine WATERs Lesson Plans: How Many Fish in the Sea? and Manage a Fishery.  Learn how managing a jaffafish fishery relates to managing fisheries in the real world.

As always, light refreshments will be served at 3.45pm and hard copy resources will be provided on the day also.

To register your interest in this professional learning session, click here.

To find out about our future planned sessions this year, click here.

If you’re finding the day or time prohibitive to attending, remember you can pull together a group of 10 or more teachers and we will come to your school and complete a professional learning session with you, and it’s still free!  To organise a Professional Learning session at your school, send us an email.

ACSIS054 ACSIS057 ACSSU073 ACSHE062 ACSIS064 ACSIS065 ACSIS091 ACSSU112 ACSHE120 ACSHE136

Changing Marine Postcodes

Posted on: December 14, 2012

Baldchin groper

Baldchin groper.

As the end of the year approaches many of us are on the move catching up with family and friends and embarking on travels over the summer break.

Spare a thought for our marine species that are potentially changing where they live in search of cooler waters, as seas become warmer with a changing climate.

The Redmap Australia website, also known as the ‘Range Extension Database and Mapping’ project was launched last week and invites potentially thousands of citizen scientists to contribute data that can help reveal whether fish are ‘shifting their range’.

We are seeking the assistance of a fishers and divers to report sightings and upload photos of marine life that aren’t usually found at their local fishing, diving and swimming  spots.

Redmap Australia is interested in reports of any marine life deemed uncommon along your particular stretch of the coast; and not just fish but also turtles, rays, lobsters, corals, seaweeds, urchins and prawns.  Photos are reviewed by a network of marine scientists around the country to verify the species identity and ensure high-quality data. Redmap Australia aims to become a continental-scale monitoring program along Australia’s vast coastline to help track marine range shifts; but also to engage Australians with marine issues using their own data.

Devotees of our lesson plan Acid Test may recall some links to the Redmap website. At the time we compiled the materials relating to ocean acidification, the Redmap project was only running in Tasmania by our enthusiastic colleagues at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies and University of Tasmania. Fast forward nearly two years and the Department of Fisheries is now the lead institute for Redmap in Western Australia so expect to see some more climate related teacher resources in 2013.

Each Redmap sighting is a piece in a puzzle that over time will reveal to the community, scientists and industry which species or regions may be experiencing greater changes in marine distributions. The sooner Australian fishers, divers and the public help gather this information, the better.  Some seas along the coast of Australia are warming at 3 to 4 times the global average.  Turning up the heat tends to stress marine ecosystems and species, and can impact fish growth, reproduction and behaviour.

Everyone can get involved by becoming a Redmap Australia registered member, signing up for our quarterly newsletter, liking us on Facebook, and importantly logging unusual marine animals at www.redmap.org.au.

Contribution to Redmap is easy as Spot, Log and Map.

Redmap is a large collaborative project led by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania, and involves the University of Newscastle, James Cook University, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), Museum Victoria, Department of Fisheries Western Australia, the University of Adelaide and the South East Australia Program (SEAP).  The expansion of Redmap nationally was made possible with generous funding from an Australian Government Inspiring Australia grant, the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). Redmap also receives support from Mures Tasmania and many fishing, diving and community groups around the country.

What a Pest!

Posted on: November 19, 2012

Asian paddle crab.

Recently, an Asian paddle crab was captured in the Swan River by a recreational fisherman.  This species is not native to Western Australia however has the potential to establish itself here and become a pest.  It has the potential to spread disease and out-compete native species like the iconic blue swimmer crab.  To find out more about this species, click here.

Did you know… in Western Australian waters, there are 60 known non-native marine species that have become established.  However not all marine species introduced to a new area become pests.  Some are unable to survive the conditions of their new environment, whilst others are unable to reproduce and establish a viable population.

Check out the Marine WATERs Lesson Plan: Pest Control to learn more about marine pests found in Western Australia.  In Activity 1, students will learn the difference between native and introduced species and will investigate the problems associated with introduced species in the marine environment.  You may wish to use the Fisheries Fact Sheet: Introduced Marine Species to learn more about introduced species in the marine environment.

In Activity 4, students will use their knowledge of a specific introduced species to design a wanted poster to inform the community to look out for and report any sightings of the species.  You may wish to discuss the Asian paddle crab example used by the Department of Fisheries with your students to assists them in their design.  If you would like to investigate introduced marine species in more detail with your students, you may request a copy of the Department of Fisheries publication, Introduced Marine Species in Western Australia here.

Once your students are well versed on marine pests, challenge them to complete our Pest Line-Up game.  In each frame, students will be presented with three possible suspects, of which, one is a marine pest.  Using the information provided, students will need to determine which suspect is the pest to move on.         

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