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New Book Guides Future Sustainable Use of Spencer Gulf

13 August 2014

AUSTRALIA - The history of the Spencer Gulf has been captured in a new book launched by Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock.

Natural History of Spencer Gulf, published by the Royal Society of South Australia and launched at SARDI Aquatic Sciences, West Beach, highlights the discovery, exploitation and use of the Spencer Gulf during the past 200 years.

Minister Brock said the book had been authored by more than 60 of South Australia’s most talented marine and social scientists.

“This book is an extraordinary achievement, five years in the making,” he said.

“The book looks at the Gulf’s history, its physical characteristics, its oceanography, its plants, birds and animals, and the valuable commercial and recreational fisheries that support our regional communities. It also considers the protected species that live in the Gulf such as whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, cuttlefish and seabirds.

“Marine pollution, management and protection, climate change, fish population studies and industrial development are also discussed, along with the importance of the region’s social fabric, and the social and economic challenges that arise from various human uses and exploitation.”

Minister Brock said the book’s current relevance in helping to guide our future sustainable use of the Gulf can’t be understated.

“This important body of knowledge is released at a time of renewed State Government commitment to regional funding initiatives and development, and an exciting economic future for the Spencer Gulf region in particular,” he said.

“The book not only helps us to understand our past, it will help us make better use of our current knowledge and ensure a strong and sustainable future for this very valuable ecosystem.”

SARDI’s Senior Science Research Fellow, Dr Scoresby Shepherd, is the chief editor of the book. Co-editors are Dr Stephen Madigan (COOE Pty Ltd), Professor Bronwyn Gillanders (University of Adelaide), Dr Sue Murray-Jones (DEWNR), and Dr David Wiltshire (Social and Ecological Assessment Pty Ltd).

The production of Natural History of Spencer Gulf was supported by OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks/Arrium Mining, Santos, the Government of South Australia, COOE Pty Ltd, Environmental Projects, Social and Ecological Assessment and Whyalla Diving Services.

The book – priced at A$60 - is available through the Royal Society of South Australia and via its website:

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