A research partnership between Australia and China to improve marine water quality, was strengthened today with Chinese dignitaries and researchers visiting Australia’s leading marine science research facility in Townsville.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science’s (AIMS) new CEO Dr Paul Hardisty hosted Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Mr Jingye Cheng, a delegation from the Consul General in Brisbane and researchers from the Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Mr Jingye Cheng (left) and AIMS CEO Dr Paul Hardisty with technician Glen Everson at the National Sea Simulator today.
Dr Hardisty said it was an honour to have a Chinese diplomatic delegation stop by to see the facilities for themselves and hear about the science being done in partnership between Australia and Chinese scientists in the Sino-Australian Centre for Healthy Coasts. The three-year research partnership was awarded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
“Having them visit shows sincere commitment and interest in Australian science and we value the experience they bring to the table in marine science research,” Dr Hardisty said.
“It is an opportunity to export our knowledge and collaborate, to provide world’s best practice for sustainable coastal developments.”
AIMS lead researcher and joint director of the Sino-Australian Centre for Healthy Coasts Dr Richard Brinkman said AIMS has played a leading role in developing a report card to communicate the health of marine ecosystems, including in the industrialised Gladstone Harbour, and this approach is being successfully replicated in China’s Jiaozhou Bay.
“The focus is on better ways of measuring coastal health and conveying that in a form easily digestible by government, industry and communities, while maintaining access to the underlying detail,” Dr Brinkman said.
“Our pilot report card in China has focussed on one of their “Blue Bays”, which they want to improve and maintain as a healthy marine ecosystem.
“We can identify how well different parts of the bay are performing and how well they may deal with future environmental impacts.”
He said Qingdao, known as China’s ‘Sailing City’ where the pilot had been undertaken, was considered one of China’s most liveable cities.
“Many Chinese are moving to the coast and they recognise we have good management practices and good science in place that can benefit their marine environments and maintain their quality of life,” Dr Brinkman said.
He said the Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has research relationships in more than 40 countries, is a highly-regarded science institute.
“They are the number one marine science institute in China with a growing impact internationally.
“They are doing a lot of research into management of blooms of algae and the giant Nomura jellyfish, which can weigh more than 200kg, and plague tourism centres and fishing industries in China and Japan.”
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Mr Jingye Cheng and Paul Hardisty unveiled a plaque at the AIMS research facility at Cape Cleveland in recognition of the partnership.