The Western Australian Marine Science Institution has welcomed the launch of the Blueprint for Marine Science 2050 as an important turning point to support future industry competitiveness and effective management of Western Australia’s marine environment and the Australian economy.
The Blueprint, launched today by WA Premier and Minister for Science Colin Barnett, identifies the key gaps in knowledge that could provide the information needed to improve productivity and deliver sustainable growth in development off Australia’s western coast.
“Industry and government managers have identified that these information gaps need to be bridged through collaborative efforts over the coming decades,” WAMSI CEO Patrick Seares said. “This Blueprint represents a clear way forward for all those involved in our marine environment.”
The Blueprint outlines:
- Sector Specific Knowledge Needs – more than 100 sector specific knowledge gaps.
- Baseline Research – priority research.
- Issue Programs – areas where investigation is needed in the near future for major decisions.
Enabling Programs – opportunities for improvement.
At the WAMSI research conference WA Chief Scientist Peter Klinken described the Blueprint as the culmination of, “a process that has been very rigorous and extremely impressive.”
Australia’s Blue Economy will inject $100 billion to the national economy over the coming decades. Activities such as the nation-building oil and gas industry, rapidly increasing shipping in the northwest, ambitions for expanded sustainable fisheries, the expansion of coastal and deep water marine reserves, rapid coastal development in the southwest as well as expanding regional port infrastructure are all effecting WA’s marine environment.
The Blueprint recommendations are the culmination of comprehensive consultation focusing on the end users of research from business, industry, government and community groups brought together by an independent steering group led by renowned scientist Emeritus Professor Alistar Robertson.