Environment News in 5 / Poo, kelp, debris, cloudland and purposeful travel

sustainable travel hub

Sea kelp revolutionising livestock feed to significantly reduce methane

A sprinkle of Asparagopsis seaweed in ruminant livestock feed is being used to significantly reduce methane emissions (by a minimum of 80%). This will have broad-reaching benefits to the Australian and international beef and dairy industries.

‘Twice daily feeding of canola oil steeped with Asparagopsis armata reduced methane emissions of lactating dairy cows.’

Future Feed

The Federal Government has awarded $2.93 million in funding to support large-scale dairy and beef grazing trials of low emission feed supplements including Asparagopsis.

Asparagopsis is being commercially cultivated by the Sea Forest team in Tasmania.

Popular burger chain Grill’d, with local outlets in Cairns Central and Smithfield, is looking to help tackle climate change by rolling out their “world-first sustainable” grass-fed beef burger recently, after it has been feeding its beef Sea Forest’s native Tasmanian seaweed, reducing their methane emissions by up to 67 per cent.

New Marine Debris App About to Launch

Tangaroa Blue is thrilled to announce that the new and improved Australian Marine Debris Initiative (#AMDI) Marine Debris and Litter Collection App is set to launch on March 31st at 9am.

Available on Google Play, the Apple App Store and on the web, this app will make it easier and more efficient to record and analyse marine debris across Australia.

Stay tuned for further updates in the lead-up to release.

Project ReCon repurposing commercial fishing buoys

Echo sounders from commercial fishers in the South Pacific are increasingly floating onto our local shores.

The floating echo sounders are used by foreign commercial fisheries,in particular, long-line fishers, to locate and lure fish.

Marine debris watchdog, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, is monitoring the dramatic increase in the appearance of these buoys and their nets, and with permission from the manufacturer Satlink, is now repurposing the buoys in Project ReCon.

The Foundation intends to redistribute the buoys to commercial fishing fleets, who can attach them to bulk marine debris such as ghost nets for tracking and subsequent removal.

Distributing the re-purposed buoys to commercial fishing fleets will commence in April.

Tangaroa Blue recently documented a 20-metre-long ghost net found in the Torres Strait, and too large to be removed:

❝It is situations like this that prompted us to team up with Satlink and develop Project ReCon – a world-first program that will repurpose GPS echosounder buoys to tag and track ghost nets found drifting in the ocean.

Once these buoys are operational, we will distribute them through our Australian Marine Debris Initiative (#AMDI) partners along the Great Barrier Reef as part of our ReefClean project.❞

Net adjacent to the commercial fishing buoys recently washed onto Wonga Beach
Marine communications company Ryokuseisha explains how the buoys work.


Cloud Land | A dramatic story of Australia’s extraordinary rainforest people and country

A sweeping account of Australia’s wet tropical rainforest country, from deep time to the legendary time of Australia’s first peoples; from the killing times and maniacal destruction of the forests by European settlers, to the present time of growing awareness of forests as the life-force of the planet.

On their property on the Atherton Tablelands, Penny van Oosterzee and her husband are regenerating rainforest from paddocks, reconnecting fragments into a living corridor that will run to the Daintree and beyond. Penny weaves this personal experience into a sweeping account of Australia’s rainforests, from their swampy birth millions of years ago to the present.

Creation stories and science bleed together for rainforest people who remember through legend the volcanic creation of the tablelands. They managed Country for thousands of years, stitched into the patterns of the forest. Then came the European settlers and the killing times. The giant cedars were pillaged in a frenzy, and the richest rainforests in the world were cleared to make way for small unsustainable cattle farms for the settlers.

After bitterly fought battles against logging, much of Australia’s remaining wet tropical rainforest is now World Heritage-listed and is once again being managed by Traditional Owners. Will the unique capacity of these rainforests to counteract climate change be their salvation, or will they continue to be vulnerable to exploitation for short-term gain?


‘I challenge anyone who starts this book to put it down without first devouring it from cover to cover’– Professor Mike Archer AM, University of New South Wales 

‘A delight to read’ – Mike Berwick, former Mayor of Douglas Shire


About the Author

Penny van Oosterzee is an Adjunct Professor at James Cook University and has won two Eureka Science Awards and several Whitley Awards for her writing. She has run several private enterprise environmental businesses in tourism, ecosystem services and environmental consulting, and has been a Governor of WWF Australia and a board member of the Federal Biodiversity Advisory Council. She is author of The Discovery of the Hobbit, Dragon Bones, and A Natural History and Field Guide to Australia’s Top End.

Tourism Industry’s Sustainable Travel Hub is great news for the region

Tourism Tropical North Queensland recently unveiled its new Sustainable Travel Hub to assist travellers and their agents to make sustainable choices, and to travel with greater purpose.

“The Tropical North Queensland Sustainable Travel Hub will help travellers to understand the value our region places on the environment and our community through various resources including blogs and a destination video that highlights our promise for greater good,” TTNQ CEO Mark Olsen said.

Get involved

“We are bringing the tourism industry onboard with the Pathway to Sustainable Tourism Toolkit… to help our operators adopt sustainable business practices, measure their footprint, and plan their journey forward for the greater good”TNQ CEO Mark Olsen.

The toolkit outlines certification programs, community initiatives to partner with including Rainforest Rescue and Green Caffeen and discusses Tourism Tropical North Queensland’s sustainability journey which includes working with Reforest to offset events.

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