THE Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ Alicia McArdle and Lyn O’Connell were at Cairns Aquarium for the unveiling of a new display, aimed at educating visitors about biosecurity importance. The new display that seeks to put the spotlight on some of northern Australia’s most unwanted marine pests is part of the aquarium, in among the tanks of tropical fish, sharks and other underwater life.
The new display is a partnership between the department and the Cairns Aquarium to highlight the importance of marine biosecurity to visitors.
Aquatic Biosecurity Surveillance Project Officer from the Department’s Science Services Group, Alicia McArdle, said the display of 3D models of five priority pests – four mussels and a crab – are accompanied by a video showing their destructive impact on marine environments.
“We’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to use this tourist attraction to build community awareness of priority invasive marine pests which could significantly impact northern Australia if found here,” Ms McArdle said.
“We’ve partnered with the Cairns Aquarium on this community engagement project funded under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.”
Opening day reportedly attracted more than 2000 visitors and the Cairns Aquarium expects more than 700,000 visitors a year.
The three-level, 7800 square metre aquarium houses 71 live exhibits displaying around 15,000 fish and aquatic organisms in 5.5 million litres of water onsite.
“With so many visitors passing through, it’s the perfect home to display our important marine biosecurity messaging up north,” Ms McArdle said.
From the print edition November 23, 2017