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Minister and Diving Legend To Open Seaweek

Minister and Diving Legend To Open Seaweek

The Minister of conservation The RT Honourable Chris Carter along with diving pioneer, author and filmmaker Wade Doak will officiate at a special event to mark the opening of Seaweek at Auckland Museum on Sunday 7th March. Seaweek is about celebrating the sea and the theme for Seaweek this year is: "Our Amazing Marine Life, Lets Protect It" says marine biologist for New Zealand Underwater, Peter Crabb.

Wade Doak's books, films and presence over the years as a speaker and advocate for marine conservation has shaped and inspired many of us who now take messages about the need for greater marine protection to a wider audience, Crabb says. Doak is famous for his diving exploits with Kelvin (Kelly) Tarlton and later work with swimming with dolphins and research in The Pacific and the Poor Knights Islands. He has written many books and continues to promote understanding in the sea through his website http://www.wadedoak.com/

Under this government two new marine reserves in Te Matuku and around the Auckland Islands have been created. I am sure Mr Carter will want to reiterate Labour's ongoing commitment to move towards 10% of our coastal marine area in reserves by 2010 as prescribed in The Biodiversity Strategy 2000, Crabb says. It is important for young people to realise that policy makers are serious about implementing meaningful policy and are concerned for the future of our marine resources and that there is hope, Crabb says.

We are learning and discovering new species in the sea all the time and there is still much we don't know or understand. It is through education and awareness of human impacts on the sea, that a change in attitudes can come about. It is now well documented that we have significantly modified our marine environment in the short time of human occupation, Crabb says. New Zealand Underwater, as the nation's diving organisation and underwater eyes, understands well the need for increased awareness and marine education. New Zealand Underwater as regional Seaweek coordinators have taken leadership in this area and are focused on ensuring that this knowledge is transferred.

In collaboration with New Zealand Underwater, Auckland Museum will play host to many of the activities. These include behind-the-scenes tours, a special marine display, children's workshops, and a extravaganza of fun at a Living Treasures Day all day on Sunday 14 March.

A full program for Seaweek this year also includes lectures, presentations and slide shows at additional venues on different evenings throughout the week. There will be a special lecture on the impacts of humans on dolphins in Costa Rica, by Earthwatch Scientist Susan Cabellero at The National Maritime Museum.

At Kelly Tarltons there will be a "show and tell" lecture regarding Giant Squid by Squid expert, Dr Steve O' Shea and on another night a sleep over with story telling, supper and breakfast in the Aquarium. In addition there will be a free diving demonstration and lecture on physiology of free diving from Champion free diver Ants Williams. From Williams the audience will learn about special adaptations that humans have that show our aquatic ancestry and allow humans, with training, to attain great depths and times underwater by holding their breath.

It is hoped that through experience and participation in these great activities and events that a greater body of knowledge about the marine environment and its inhabitants will be conveyed to the wider community.

There is something for everyone at Seaweek!

For the full programme of Seaweek 2004 activities.

visit http://www.nzunderwater.org.nz/


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