Jessica Meeuwig, an academic at The University of Western Australia, has become the face of an international conservation campaign to protect Western Australia's south west marine environment.
The collaboration of key Australian and international conservation groups yesterday launched the campaign, "Save Our Marine Life", to secure the future of Australia's south west marine environment. The alliance includes the Conservation Council of WA, Australian Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society, WWF Australia, Australian Marine Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy and the Pew Environment Group.
Professor Meeuwig, Director of UWA's Centre for Marine Futures, said the globally significant region was home to a far greater proportion of unique marine life than the Great Barrier Reef.
"Many economically important marine species, such as rock lobster, dhufish and baldchin groper are under threat," she said.
"Large marine sanctuaries are critical to maintaining the health of the marine environment, helping fish stocks recover, and securing the future of commercial and recreational fishing in Western Australia."
UWA's Centre for Marine Futures builds on a collaboration between UWA, State Government agencies and research institutions, and regional natural resource management agencies. It aims to improve our understanding of WA's unique, ancient and fragile marine ecosystem through mapping habitats, assessing biodiversity and understanding the role played by humans.