Kangaroo Island’s fabulous North Coast will be the focus of international interest and scrutiny in the coming months as part of a collaborative effort by Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch and AusOcean nominating it as a Hope Spot under the Mission Blue Project.
This initiative could see the area, one of only a handful of such designated sites around Australia’s coastline, promoted widely as one of the world’s most important marine environments.
The Mission Blue Project www.mission-blue.org is the brainchild of Dr Sylvia Earle considered amongst the world’s most highly respected marine authorities, a leading marine scientist and explorer. It has resulted in some of the world’s most important marine habitats being afforded greater protection and profiling as places to visit for people from around the globe.
As part of the Great Southern Reef, KI’s temperate waters are home to an incredible number of species with at least 85% found nowhere else in the world.
Dolphin Watch Coordinator Tony Bartram met on several occasions recently with Shannon Rake via Zoom while she was isolating in California. Shannon is the Mission Blue Hope Spot Program Manager who offered great encouragement and advice to the co-nominators in an extensive, far reaching discussion.
It is possible in the near future, as a result of this initiative, that the marine environment of KI’s North Coast may be considered in the same light as the terrestrial environment, capable of providing extraordinary world leading wildlife experiences. This is something for which the island’s land based environment is renowned.
It deserves nothing less than this special recognition as the following quote from Catherine Larkin of AusOcean outlines:
“KI is unique in that it sits at the confluence of two oceanographic systems providing unique habitat that supports an abundance of marine species, many of which have high conservation value. From Leafy sea dragons, to pods of 100 dolphins and large coral colonies that have existed for hundreds of years, KI has provided an important refuge for many vulnerable species whose numbers have declined significantly elsewhere.”
This promising proposal will be assessed by the Mission Blue Council early in August.
Today, more than ever….we all need hope!
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