Launched on 8 June 2017, S.E.A. Aquarium Society is the conservation institute under S.E.A. Aquarium, which brings together a community of like-minded people and organisations collaborating with the aquarium to protect the marine environment.
This newly established institute will support researchers and scientists dedicated to increasing understanding of the ocean, as well as lead and support local initiatives and campaigns that will impact and improve ocean health.
Its long-term initiative Healthy Ocean, Healthy Us aims to highlight how ocean health is fundamentally linked to human health. It will focus on tackling priority issues such as ocean plastic pollution, sustainable seafood and climate action for the ocean in Southeast Asia and Australasia over the next five years.
The society signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JCU, which will see the two organisations collaborate on research projects, student and public engagement programmes, as well as groom the next generation of marine scientists through internships. Some planned research projects include the environmental impact of micro-plastics, and the ecology of bamboo sharks in Singapore.
Professor Ken Greenwood, JCU’s Dean of Research & Professor of Psychology, said:
“James Cook University is committed to creating a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide through graduates and discoveries that make a difference. Our university is ranked number one in the world for marine biology and number two in the world for biodiversity conservation research, and we look forward to linking our expertise with that of S.E.A. Aquarium Society in research that will boost marine conservation efforts in Singapore and the region.”
S.E.A. Aquarium Society also provided a S$54,000 cash funding to Zero Waste SG, a non-profit and non- governmental organisation dedicated to helping Singapore eliminate the concept of waste.
The contribution will support a new nationwide BYO (Bring Your Own) Schools Programme which engages students on plastic disposables and marine litter through talks and interactive booths, and encourages them to bring their own reusables and reduce plastic disposables via a reward system.
The year-long programme targets to reduce the total number of plastic disposables by 20,000 items. This collaborative project between S.E.A. Aquarium Society and Zero Waste SG commences July 2017 and will involve 4,000 students from 20 primary schools in Singapore.
Mr Eugene Tay, Executive Director of Zero Waste SG, said:
“We are pleased to partner S.E.A. Aquarium Society to spread the message on reducing plastic disposables in schools and encourage students to BYO. Marine litter is mostly made up of plastics, and poses harm to marine animals through ingestion or entanglement. Reducing plastic disposables is a key driving force in marine conservation. The funding and support from S.E.A. Aquarium Society will enable us to inculcate good BYO habits in young minds to protect the marine environment.”
Update: S.E.A. Aquarium Society has been renamed Guardians of the S.E.A.A. Details here