James Cook University's workshop initiative hopes to advance shark and ray conservation
The Southeast Asia Shark & Ray Research and Conservation workshop, co-organised by James Cook University's Australian and Singaporean campuses and held in Singapore from 25-29 September, marked a significant step in shark and ray conservation efforts in the region.
Organised by Dr Andrew Chin, Senior Research Fellow in Marine & Aquaculture Sciences at James Cook University Australia, and Dr Neil Hutchinson, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science at James Cook University in Singapore, the 5-day event was attended by 35 participants from 11 countries. This included 23 parties including non-governmental organisations, research institutes and universities.
Dr Neil Hutchinson emphasised the importance of such gatherings, stating, "This workshop serves as a crucial platform for experts and conservationists alike to exchange ideas and develop effective strategies for safeguarding our diverse shark and ray populations."
With substantial funding from the Shark Conservation Fund, and additional support from Synchronicity Earth and the Save Our Seas Foundation, the workshop aimed to improve participants’ technical skills, and encourage the sharing of their experiences. The collaborative nature of the event allowed a network of conservationists and researchers to share their knowledge and explore innovative approaches to conserving these marine species. The workshop came at a crucial time, as diverse shark and ray populations in the region face increasing threats.
“This workshop is critically important to advancing shark conservation in the global biodiversity hotspot that is Southeast Asia,” said Lee Crockett, Executive Director at Shark Conservation Fund. “I believe that this workshop will not only strengthen individual capabilities, but also advance the development of a cohesive regional network of shark and ray conservation practitioners in Southeast Asia.”
As these organisations and individuals unite, they carry the hope of developing innovative, sustainable solutions and contributing to the preservation of Southeast Asia's unique shark and ray populations.
Dr Andrew Chin added, "Our commitment to protecting these species extends beyond borders. Collaborative efforts like this workshop are essential to ensure a sustainable future for sharks and rays."
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Dr Andrew Chin [email protected]
Dr Neil Hutchinson [email protected]
Media: Ms Pinky Sibal [email protected]