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USC researchers to share aquaculture insights

The opportunities that aquaculture could bring to coastal communities across the Pacific islands will be highlighted at a free public lecture at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday 16 September.

This event, from 5.30-7.30pm, will feature presentations about research into the cultured pearl industry by USC’s Professor of Sustainable Tropical Aquaculture Paul Southgate and into sea cucumber ranching by Principal Research Officer Cathy Hair.

Professor Southgate said while aquaculture was sometimes perceived negatively because of environmental concerns, the industry could make strong positive impacts in both conservation and development.

“Aquaculture can be very positive, providing livelihood opportunities and helping with conservation, because alternative options often include unsustainable fishing practices like using dynamite,” Professor Southgate said.

“Since the mid-1970s, pearl culture has developed into a US$200million industry in French Polynesia and this provides opportunities for similar developments in the West Pacific.

“USC is doing some great work in this area, and it can help provide people with a steady livelihood.”

The presentation, the final of the Research@USC lecture series, will be held at USC’s Innovation Centre. It will include a question and answer time and the opportunity to meet the researchers while enjoying light refreshments.

To register, email or phone 5459 4529.

— Gen Kennedy

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