Ep.5 Marine Ecosystems - Andrew Christie (Melb. Polytechnic & Marine Care Point Cooke)

You're on the plants grow podcast. I'm Daniel Fuller. Come along with me as we enter a hidden world of deep horticultural, ecological and landscape gardening knowledge with featured experts, industry professionals, and enthusiasts. Today I'm speaking about marine ecology with Andrew Christie, who's a lecturer for the Bachelor of agriculture and technology degree at Melbourne Polytechnic is president for the lancair group marine carepoint cook, and is also one of the hosts for the out of the blue radio program on three car community radio. Good I Andrew, welcome to the show.
Daniel, thanks very much for having me.
It's a pleasure to have you on. So what is marine ecology?
Well, basically, marine ecology, I think the best way to think of it is, if I can use an analogy, think of all think of a complex machine where you've got a whole bunch of different cogs and different wheels that are turning to different rights. They're different sizes, and they're all somehow interrelated. So when we talk about the topic of marine ecology, we're Of course, we're talking about what goes on in the marine environment under the surface of the water. And you might be considering a whole bunch of different environments in the intertidal zone apart a subtitle might be depot sort of oceanic waters, that considers all of those environments. And, you know, you'll have relations between for example, algae, and you know, marine macrophytes marine plants, whether they say waves or what, and then of course, the animals that depend on them for food and shelter and all these sorts of things. I will give a quick shout out. Unfortunately, astroglia lost one of its great marine ecologist. Only last week, my honesty supervisor, Dr. Peter, think Associate Professor Peter Fairweather, who was lucky enough to be his honest student way back when I was doing a degree at Deakin University morrible. So yeah, unfortunately, Peter died last week, so he'll be very, very sorely missed.
That's very sad. Thank you for bringing that to our attention.
No worries. Yeah. So when you when you talk about marine ecology, it's basically those interrelationships between various elements of the chain and right now at Moran k point cook. And more broadly throughout Northern Port Phillip by we've got a couple of really interesting situations in regards to marine marine ecology and the marine environment. So they they are introduced marine pest species are a major one. So we've got a thing called undaria pinnatifida, which is a Japanese, commonly known as what Cami or the Japanese kelp. And then there's also another one called gradel, lupia, turtle turtle, that's the Japanese slippery weight. So these are both items that have been introduced to our local biota, from the northern Pacific region, South around Japan and career and these sorts of areas. And they've shown up here and they're exerting quite the impact in different zones of the marine environment. And then we've also got a real problem with the model the sea urchins. And the sea urchins are basically going through and they are overgrazing, because their their numbers have absolutely skyrocketed. Now there's a few theories around as to why that's happened. But the CH numbers have exploded and they're basically going through and eating all the algae off the rocks. And we're talking everything from the large macro algae and drift algae and so on, right down to the, to the new spores that are trying to develop. They're basically getting areas of vessel reef and boulders and they sitting there and grazing on them and taking the algae right out of the equation altogether. So at the moment, Patek Toria are in concert with Deakin University and the blue carbon lab are involved in a project to go through and conversations to try and bring back some semblance of balance to the to the system.
So when you say the sea urchins are grazing on the algae, how important is that our key to the overall marine ecosystem?
That's absolutely crucial. So if we're looking at some of those examples I mentioned before and this is where it gets it becomes a real paradox. Because we've got a particular kelp species a brown kelp species that's an IT that's basically functionally extinct two point cook. That's called a Claudia ride Jada. Now happily, we've got some good populations over over Joba and marine sanctuary Williams Tam, and some nice populations have an either either across the other side of the bike by Maurice at Ricketts point marine sanctuary where we say quite a lot of clarnia. But for whatever reason, the Claudia has basically vanished from point cork, and we would suggest that it's mainly because of overgrazing from the sales So the algae that grows there, they're what you call them macro algae. It's the large stuff locket, clarnia lock, the introduced pest lock on dariya and Gretel lupia. They're all what you call macro algae, you know, loosely called Nino, some might refer to them as seaweeds and these sorts of things. But they are so important from the point of view of providing things like food, obviously for the for the critters that mansion them, and also shelter for a lot of the animals that don't. Now I was on the in the water at point talk just the other day, and it was clear on Saturday, and it was clean to say like, things like glug fish and flathead and the southern Fiddler rise, that will get in there underneath the kelp and use it as shelter, even if that I'd say directly on it. So it's very important when I was saying there was a bit of a paradox before was the pond area is one of these species that grows explosively in the colder months of the year. So we've got a situation at the moment at point cook, where you've sort of got a choice between, in some instances, some areas in the Marine Sanctuary, no algae at all, because the urchins have gone through and bulldoze it off all the all the boulders and over grazed it. Or you can have a choice of one out each species, which is normally the area which grows very, very quickly. In some instances, Spain tract as growing as quickly, it's hard to imagine this, that five centimeters per day. So this stuff can literally you know, talk about the old adage of watching grass grow. I mean, this stuff is incredible, it is some of the fastest growing plant life on the planet, five centimeters a day, from what we've seen, it doesn't seem to grow as quickly in the local waters being such a long way out of its natural range. But it does quite nicely, thank you very much. It grows really explosively from about March, April through until about October, he and then once you hit about November and into the summer months, it really starts to dawn back very quickly. And it basically doors off. So it's only really a problem in you know, maybe six to eight months of the year tops that where you say good populations. Now other than that it just dies off and in the same bank germanized, so to speak, and then you get the next wave the next generation coming through later on.
This seems like a good spot to talk about some of those aquatic weeds. So we all recognize weeds in the garden, and we know that some of those weeds are going to be bad for the environment and they're actually introduced, can you please tell us a little bit about how big of a problem are those aquatic weeds? And why are they spreading so much faster now than they have in the past?
Yeah, great question, Daniel. Um, basically what we tend to fall in with the aquatic waves is they if I if I did get in and I should back up the truck a little bit here and just give it a little bit of a history lesson on how these things get here in the first place. So mainly comes from how failing and, and ballast water discharges. Now, that's when you get these big sigh for example, a container ship or a car carrier or something coming in from, from from Tokyo by and then transiting all the way down to Australia. And then you get all the on darious balls being released into the water or mature plant might fall off the hall. The regulations on that have been really stringently developed in the last little while. And we're saying some much stronger God longs and I once was, so that will hopefully reduce the impact of, you know, introduced marine pest species like on deer and Gretel loopy getting here in the first place. But once I do get here, everything that comes in is not necessarily going to be an invasive species might not be able to survive for various reasons, it may not get the required temperature, it may not get the five nutrient load and type to prosper. So a lot of them probably die out. But we're on darier and Gretel lupia really get a leg up and the real advantage is I once I get here I find something in the environment that's really favorable to them. But they probably one of the major things is what you'd call eutrophication, or basically excessive nutrient discharge. Now when you think about it in northern Port Phillip Bay being located where we are, I'm speaking to you coming to now from from point cool. In Melvin's West, remember that we're not all that far away at all from the from the western treatment plant. Now if I do a brilliant job in in, they've got literally a world class facility out there where I trade all the device, but there is still going to be a significant amount of nutrient going into the water. And we we see that it really hit me right between the eyes I've been employed now for about the last 15 years. But back in 2008 on the front page of the newspaper, I had two copies of the malware, malware maps of the area and the first one was hardly any development and painful growth and that was about it and I can panics nowadays the southern has exploded to the point where the municipality became one of the most rapidly It actually held the title there for a while is the most rapidly growing municipality, not just in Victoria, but in the whole country in Australia. So when you've got that urban sprawl developing to such an extent, what you'll find is you get this enormous, this this huge amount of potential nutrients going into the water. Now, Melbourne water and the other local councils and these jurisdictions all over the place. And putting these fantastic measures, were they using botanical filtration to get around that so they are installing these manmade wetlands. But still, the sheer weight of numbers means that there's always going to be more nutrient discharged into the water. So it could be sewage to an extent, it could be a dog feces, it could be, you know, runoff from people, you know, watering, the gardens, all that sort of stuff, it all contributes in some way, shape, or form. And over nutrients, namely, things like nitrogen and phosphorus and all that sort of stuff, end up getting into the water. And that really ends up creating a lovely environment for the, for the dairy, I sit there and my gobble up these nutrients locked, efficient chips, and like I said they growth is very rapid growth very, very quickly. And that's how I can exert a major, major impact on the on the surrounding environment. So by simply getting there and that can pay things like a clown here and all the rest of it that would not have been struggling in the first place. Probably the other thing I should point out there, Daniel as well is that we've got two different types of it's handy to think about it in two different ways. So you've got the microbiome on the one hand, which are these tiny, minuscule cells that you can find under the under a compound microscope, you know, you need to get an idea on these things. Yeah, you need to zoom into about 400 times magnification. So they're really tiny little critters, and they form these colonies and things. So you get things like chlorella is a good example of a freshwater algae, not our coreopsis is one found in the marine environment. And then thinking of the macro algae, so on the one hand, the Marco on the other hand, the macro is a good example of those, the ones that have been speaking about already the economy of the area, and things like you know, De Villiers, the the big bull kelp that you see. So lb comes in, in an enormous variety of different shapes and sizes. It's really quite impressive the diversity of seeing that, that that's sort of the
you know that that follow on dish, you can see, the other one I'll point out is where Marco Oki can have a huge impact is what you'd call the cyanobacteria. That's the correct name for it more colloquially known as blue green algae. And you get things like anabaena, and microcystis. These things caused this monstrous bloom in the Murray Darling river in 1991. And again, more recently, where there was like 1000 k section of the river that turned into basically pea soup. And there was a whole range of different factors that were driving that. But probably the major one, they what you want to call the limiting nutrient in the freshwater environment is phosphorus, if you're looking at and the phosphites, super phosphites, which he used in farming and alesse, that sort of thing. If you look at the marine environment, it tends to motivate nitrogen. But the cyanobacteria, they're very good examples of what you call nitrogen fixes. So they grinded grabbing the nitrogen, but not so good at grabbing the phosphorus that I really need that to come in from somewhere else. And, you know, the farming communities oblige. And there was all this a perfect storm of situations where there was long dialing hot, sun hot temperatures, which was firewood for the synthesis. And so they they were getting these huge blooms. And then of course, you add the Super phosphites to the picture. And the the amount of lb mes system absolutely exploded. And when that happens, the big problem with blue grains is like an overrun on a river on environment, if they're slow, if the flows are very, very stagnant and slow or non existent, though, basically former carbon on the surface, and they'll choke oxygen out of the rest of the system, particularly during the nighttime hours when the photosynthesis shuts off. And I can cause clogging of waterways and all this sort of stuff. But the really nasty part about blue green algae is that I have what you call pedo toxins which target the liver, and of course, neurotoxins, which target the central nervous system. So they are potentially very, very nasty critters to have in an environment with a form of monstrous blue type situation.
So they're not only destructive to the environment, they're also destructive to human bodies as well.
Oh, absolutely. If you get a situation where you've got a blue green algae bloom in a reservoir, you hear this from time to time where they they have to stop taking water from the reservoir and the unfortunately the inhabitants of the country town have to suddenly start hitting the bottle water and they bring in emergency shipments of bottled water and all that sort of thing to enable the communities to get by. And it's I should point out to us Not only the labor and central nervous system damage, if you go waterskiing in an environment with a blue green bloom, and you get this stuff on your skin and has been shown to cause dermatitis to develop to, and you can get some very nasty skin irritations and rashes, and all that sort of thing. So it's not the sort of stuff that you want to mess with, it's very, very potent. Of course, the problem as well can arise if cattle go to a water source, it's contaminated, and rot at the time of the show Daniel way, unfortunately, a lot of it linked to the Sylvan reservoir wasn't a blue drain blue. But I had a situation where a whole heap of untreated water infiltrated the towns, a whole range of towns from me and I will see an ad being brought across to mooroolbark, a big slide of the community was affected by having potentially unsafe water. So what I could do was I could boil the water, I was precautionary thing, boil the kettle, but the water cool, and then you can use it for drinking. Unfortunately, you can't do the same thing with blue green algae toxins, because they're very, very stifled and got this. One, what's called a mono cyclic structure, that the chemical structure of these things, you can bomb it as much as you want. And you'll still have a situation where you're getting a you got those toxins that are unfortunately still present in the water, and they still pack a punch. So that's that's a really worrisome element of blue, green, blue.
That's not good at all, is it? Not? Not good at all. So you mentioned that algae and blue green algae are actually not really the same thing. You mentioned that blue green algae is actually on top of a bacteria. Now we tend to lump all of those things in together sort of, you know, plants, algae, blue, blue green algae as aquatic flora, but Oggy and blue green algae, technically plants
die. Well, yet I belong to the, to the from that phylum, but it's probably more beneficial to talk about the mean age, sort of, I guess, down to, you know, consider each species that you're discussing. And when you talk about the things locked for it. Well, the Sinai bacteria, as the name suggests, they're actually members of the kingdom monera beliefs of a bacterial side of things. But when we look at things like for example, like you cannot get more different responses, even though they're there, they're quite similar. They might be things that are quite similarly related. So for example, if we're looking at a blu ray Yagi, like I said, it can cause dermatitis and things if we're looking at a gray now he things like chlorella vulgaris, is the freshwater example, you'll actually find that in a lot of moisturizers these days, there are particular lines of moisturizer, use an extract of chlorella vulgaris, because it's beneficial to help moisturize and replenish your skin. So there there's an example where you, you know, if you lumpy no lie all under one basket, it's very limited. Utility, it's very limited use when you consider the different effects like and had the absolute chalk and cheese, you know, moisturizer on one hand, dermatitis and irritation on the other, I mean, cannot get much more different.
I'd like to change this subject a little bit now and speak about some of those wetland environments. I'm personally very fascinated by mangroves. Can you please tell us a little bit more about those mangrove environments?
Oh, yeah, well the mangroves are deira beauty there are real they are renowned as one of the most diverse habitats that you'll find on the on the on the planet lock in terms of the the importance they have to moraine and Esther on ecosystems is quite incredible. So they are we we know for a fact that they are extremely valuable as far as being nurseries for for fish. So you find the juvenile fish or fingerlings as you might call them, in the waters in those areas. That is such a crucial habitat for those. So if we're looking at their local example, the gray or white mangroves, the decennium Mariner, is the species that we've got here in Victoria are one of the more common ones. And you'll find that for example, if you want to check out some mangroves, obviously, you've got to be mindful of the fact that they're very delicate. So you don't want to go stomping around and then but just look from afar. Probably some of the best areas include Jawbone moraine sanctuary at Williams Tam, there's a nice little pocket of mangroves they we've got a nice section of mangroves in the Stoney Creek backwash on the West Gate bridge there. That's a great location to go and have a squeeze that down and say that mangroves there and also, our history has some lush populations of mangroves and the mangroves. One of the really interesting things about them is they're the root system. So you've got things like the what they call new metaphors, which are basically almost the snorkel type breeding tubes to project up above the surface and that's when you can really tell you found mangroves is when you've got that the traditional almost like a tree ground out of the mud. And then you'll see all these little finger like projections coming out of the water when I can. And I will size those roots to become specialized size that can actually break the the so to speak, which they by utilized as part of their physiology.
Right. And it's very important not to work on the snorkels as well, because that can actually do damage the plant. Is that right?
Absolutely. Right. Yeah, that's one of the things that's one of the, I guess the consequences of when you when you carry out some sort of marine biology, dice research or marine ecology bias research, you do have to be very mindful of the fact that you just kind of just got stomping around on the sub strike, because traveling has been shown to have a very detrimental impact on a lot of these environments. So the same sort of thing we would, you know, if I'm going out to point like I did on Saturday, for example, going for a snorkel I'll be very careful walking off to one side of the seagrass beds, because the say grace where it leaves the foam stomping around on the my email booties on that perfect, it's going to damage sized environments and all the critters live within a neutron Galleria mall where there's the sandy bottom Same deal applies for mangroves, you don't want to go stomping around on the lies new metaphors and crushing them up because you will absolutely cause harm to the plant to occur. Yeah,
that's actually very important to think about, because these environments really are so important just to everything,
as it certainly are. Yeah.
Can you tell me a little bit about how some of those marine and terrestrial creatures interact with those mangroves?
Yeah, we'll run a good example if we, if we're looking at the mangroves here in here in Victoria. It's you're gonna fall in like I mentioned before, a lot of the things like flathead and all that sort of stuff in the living in amongst the sediments, you'll find pebble crabs, you find, you know, these, what you call the gastropods, all the little snails and things doing around, doing the rounds, incredible numbers of guys that really love the the shelter and the food that the mangrove areas helped to provide. It's, like I said before, a very diverse habitat, really rich ecology. And, you know, we've seen some examples, unfortunately, overseas. And nowadays, the awareness is getting so much better when we look at things like areas of the world like for example, Thailand, and Ecuador, thriving shrimp aquaculture industries. So unfortunately, what they used to do once upon a time was decided, right, here's a nice coastal area we're going to do, we're going to pop a shrimp farm in this area here, but then to achieve that, that actually go in and I would physically destroy that rip at the mangroves to enable them to get started in the first place. So that we're basically taking a hard power off are we shooting themselves in the foot because of course what I meant is you had this situation where one of the one of the crucibles one of the the incubators for life itself in those coastal areas was being completely crucified and just being annihilated. So that is a that is the sort of thing that doesn't happen much these days, because people have opened their eyes to it and realized, hang on, these are, these are really valuable environments, we can't have a situation where we, you know, for the for the sake of aquaculture and the no doubt the money and the socio economic benefits come from that. We can't forsake the natural environment as well. So they coming up with systems where you can go through and integrate the tutor. So that's, that's, that's an example of, you know, what not to do, I guess closer to home in terms of how they interact. You know, if you look up north, the mangroves in around canes and things, you're going to find a totally different environment, see my fallen crocodiles on the outskirts of the mangroves, or within the mangrove forest themselves, you'll find your box jellyfish, and all these sorts of things, doing the rounds as well. So of course, varies depending on where you are in the world and where the mangroves are as to what's actually going to be in there. But you can't underestimate them only by just such incredibly rich environments and things like good luck. I mentioned before the habitat destruction to my life and new developments is one thing. Of course, those sorts of areas are very, very susceptible to things like oil spills. You know, you don't want to have a situation where a tanker runs aground or something. And then you get all of the oil coming. coming ashore. I think when we look at the mangrove environments around the ways he had a civilized way in the United States, some of those were hit very, very hard during the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout that happened a few years back. So you know, they're very delicate environments. She can't emphasize that enough. Very delicate, very dauntless. And, you know, we, we've got to do everything in our power to protect them and make sure that they're there for for future generations to have a look at an angel as well.
It's absolutely so important, and I really couldn't agree with you any more. So you're president of the marine cat point cook. Can you tell us a little bit about what's involved with your work over there?
Yeah, well, our marine carepoint cook was a group that was started up around tools, I think was around 2009 from memory of all the the previous president Jacqueline Flynn, who did a fantastic job of assembling the group. So all it is is basically a friends group. It's a bunch of like minded people getting together for certain events. And to give you an idea of some of the events that we participate in the grind Victorian fish count is one that we do every year in association with Parks Victoria, we've got a terrific relationship with a lot of the staff of parks, I think we have a lot to do with over the over the journey. also things like the sea slug census is one that was running quite, or the last year run very recently until kind of non training debate. So we couldn't get in the water for that. But yeah, so these sorts of events that come along. Also, we did, we did secure a grant a little while ago from the communities of NYCHA, which was, or spa Parks Victoria, four and a half $1,000 went towards investigating the efficacy, the efficiency, in other words, of removing undaria pinnatifida from the from the point brain century. So that was, that was a really interesting project. Because what, what it demonstrated to us was that when you do go and rip down the area or out of the marine environment, unfortunately, it does, yes, it's a pest species. But when you do that, invariably, you will cause some collateral damage. So we were seeing situations where unfortunately, things like to give you examples Wade fish, little Lebanon, stars, brittle stars, and all these sorts of things to say stars were getting dragged out of the water through now with no fault of their own. And quite often, you know, you'd see significant mortalities amongst those sorts of things. So we're at the point where we're looking at it saying, well, gee, was this really the way to go. And nowadays, I think this acknowledgement, this stuff is definitely a very recognized and recognizable marine pest species. But whether it actually does more harm than good to rip it out, then becomes the key issue. And some of authors have actually referred to it as being relatively ecologically benign. Now, that is never a tag that you can assign to something like the North Pacific sea star, which is just this ravenous little predator guys are out of munches on everything in its path, loves eating all the barbell, barbell mollusks, they can find in the water, things like the PVS and the muscles and all that sort of stuff. I have an absolute field day but on dairy of being of being an aquatic species, a an aquatic plant species, basically a microphone, it doesn't tend to have the side punch. So someone said, Well, if you don't walk on dairy, don't worry too much, because it's only going to be there for six months of the year and then then it'll make off and then it will eventually go back again. Yes, but then it'll disappear again. So that the the Marine Corps, the marine ecological community is constantly in a bit of a state of flux with regards to on dairy or like I said, I'm saying, I'm saying, you know, various fish species that Southern Fiedler raised that we've got good populations, other point cook, cuttlefish, everything using it as as as shelter and camouflaging in there with it. So it's one of those VIX questions where Yes, it's marine piston where we know it's technically the bad guy, but gee whiz is a bit of an Upshot tool as well. It's not necessarily the root of all evil from from where we're concerned. So yeah, that's the sort of thing we do at moraine k point talk. So if anyone's interested, best thing to do is just to check us out on the website. I should point out that when you spell Moran k point cook on the end of cook, there is an eighth, so that's technically the correct spelling of the area. So it's been confusing because point Couperin century the cook has an A on the end, moraine k point cook has an A on the end the suburb point poop does not have an A on the edge. So it's just say double. Okay. Whereas you were looking at point coporate sanctuary, it's C double o ke. So yeah, that's one day. Just remember when you're looking for us on Facebook.
So you're so passionate about marine ecology. And that's just so evident when you speak. What was it that inspired you to enter this field? And do you have any advice for young up and comers who want to enter the field of marine ecology?
Yeah, good question. Look, I think I have to be honest, and say that my, my first sort of foray into the idea of marine biology and things was when I was a young fellow would have been about probably seven years old or something and mom and dad, let me watch a few minutes of the movie Jaws. And from that moment on, I'm still to this day mine time, that real fascination with sharks I think they're some of the most incredible animals on the planet, and just amazing to see them in their natural environment. So that was one of those things that really grabbed me. And from that moment on, I really started looking at the marine environment, particularly close to the base that we got to to Queensland, and visit my grandmother up there, every once in a while up on the Gold Coast of Palm Beach. And being in the marine environment, getting into the water and going for swims every day was something that really stayed with me forever. I've got aside now, you know, it's sort of gone full circle where I did a degree at Deakin University a vulnerable a Bachelor of aquatic science and a bicycle. I haven't looked back. So as far as advice goes to, to the new up and comers, my my advice there would be that when when you're looking at things like marine biology and marine ecology, there are only a certain number of jobs going in those sorts of industries. So it is a very, very competitive field. So one area that I we can really have an impact and getting the industry and get jobs is in the field of aquaculture. And that's where I'm involved in teaching at the bachelor into the Bachelor of agriculture and technology degree, which is offered by Melbourne Polytechnic, and we run that from Al Epping campus. So, with the beauty of aquaculture is it's an industry that's growing very rapidly. And now in Victoria, we're finally hitting a sort of a critical mass where we've got enterprises like mine stream aquaculture, and wherever that culture about 1200 tons of baramati a year, taking water, Virginia thermal border, keep that tropical fish species happy. We've got abalone farms, and it's fully masl, aquaculture and all that sort of thing. So getting into a field like that is a good one. Because of course it means we'll buy these jobs in growing industry, but be you're going to be using a lot of the skills that you would have learned from your days studying marine biology or marine ecology. And that's whether you do whether it's a you know, a degree or whether it ends up being a diploma or certificate three or four or whatever, in a related field, like the natural resource management and all those sort of things that might have an aquatic bent to them. So getting those, getting that skill set is a is a really good thing, because you put a lot of that into, into into practice when you're working at an aquaculture and claws. And of course nowadays, when we look at aquaculture, some people consider it a little bit of a swear word because they consider that it's damaging to the environment. And my my response to that is well yeah, I mean, just about everything that you can mention any industry will have an impact on the environment in some way, shape, or form that can be quite negative. But increasingly, there's a focus on okay, but how do we make it less and less negative, and get ourselves to a situation where it's relatively environmentally sustainable and environmentally friendly. So that's the big challenge going forward, you know, in a lot of instances, and we're seeing a lot of technologies coming through now that are starting to shape that the one I mentioned before mindstorm. aquaculture is a great example, because that's a re circulating aquaculture system, they've got the ability to trace every single drop of water that leaves that facility. A really interesting area that might be interested in there. Daniel is the what what you call him TAs IMT is or integrated multi trophic aquaculture. So that's a that's recognition of the fact that you can have a KFC cage that might be farming Atlantic salmon, like they do in tazzy. At the moment. in Tasmania, it's the single most lucrative industry in the entire country. And he's now the sheer amount of Atlantic salmon that are produced. And people have rightly turned around and said, well, that's damaging to the environment if they got to see cage. But now what they're doing is looking to set up systems where you've got kelp growing in proximity to the cage environment. And you've also got mussels and those sorts of things that are taking out a lot of fish are producing and not only environmentally friendly, but then you're selling Atlantic salmon, you're selling mussels, and you might be selling the kelp as well. So instead of just one product, you've now got your eggs spread over three different baskets. So it's, that's a real wash, despised swap, that's a really interesting area where we can certainly limit some of the environmental damage that we that we might be causing. And of course the The other thing to remember is that you know a lot of these things when we're talking about environmental, you know, sustainability, or we're talking about production processes or animal ethics, these things aren't mutually exclusive quite often, you will find what I like to call a sort of a shotgun solution where you look to satisfy you know, killing more multiple birds with one stone, you can satisfy your production goals, you can satisfy your around your, you know, the economics behind it, and the environmental sustainability, annotating your animal ethics by adopting a particular course of action. And that's where the the integrated multi trophic aquaculture is going to be a really interesting one to keep it all out in the future.
Fantastic. That is so exciting. And it reminds me of a lot of the sort of permaculture ideals that a lot of gardeners have where they don't, you know, if you have bare soil, it's just going to get worse and worse and worse. Whereas if you just let the weeds that pop up, grow on it, that soil so it's sort of like stabilizes in a way And that sort of sounds similar to what you're saying about into.
Absolutely. That's exactly right. Yeah, using some of these things to, to alleviate some of that environmental damage. It is a lucky aside, they Daniel with the permaculture side of things, he's, it's a very different way of thinking about it. And that's where we've got to be honest and look at things where we've had farming systems in the future that are like OSI that might be causing degradation of the marine environment, they might be causing very, very poor quality soils to only get worse. And it's a different way of looking at things to try and utilize what we've got in the best way possible.
Andrew 37, so inspiring. Thank you for coming on the show. I hope our listeners have learned a lot about marine ecology and the importance of those aquatic ecosystems to the overall environment. That's
an absolute pleasure, Daniel.
You can find more information on the marine carepoint Cooke Facebook page, which I'll have a link to in the show notes. You'll also see other links in the show notes including to our website, where you find heaps of information on plants. Connect with us on Twitter at plants grow here, and on our Facebook group, which will also be in the show notes.

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