Exploring oceans at Big Blue Marine Community Expo in Launceston

SEA: IMAS PHD candidate Darryn Sward shows Charlie Quill, 10, of Launceston, underwater footage. Picture: Neil Richardson
SEA: IMAS PHD candidate Darryn Sward shows Charlie Quill, 10, of Launceston, underwater footage. Picture: Neil Richardson

The Big Blue Marine Community Expo could become a regular feature in Launceston’s calendar after a successful event on Sunday.

The organisers hope the inaugural expo could become an annual event attracting people from interstate to learn about the ocean.

Expo organiser Michael Jacques said the ocean was the biggest wilderness on the planet filled with prehistoric creatures.

Already he had feedback from an interstate scientist who said there was nothing like the expo in the country, he said.

The event encouraged people to touch and play with different elements from the ocean rather than listen to dry material, Mr Jacques said.

Launceston was lucky to have access to a range of world class underwater habitats nearby, Mr Jacques said.

A major theme of the expo, which was held at Albert Hall, explored the unique features of the Tamar River.

The river could be murky and smell, but the unique environment was home to an array of creatures, he said.

While there were plenty of important aquatic issues that needed attention, the expo was designed for people to have fun and learn about the ocean.

If people appreciated its wild beauty, they would be more willing to try and conserve it, Mr Jacques said.

 Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies PHD candidate Darryn Sward hoped her research would present a better way of conducting underwater research.

She testing the best methods to use remotely operated vehicles, or ROVS, to conduct research and population counts.

Describing them as underwater drones, the ROVS presented a non-destructive way of investigating depths that divers would have issues maintaining, Ms Sward said.

“They’re simple to use … and there’s basically no damage to the environment.”

“They’re simple to use … and there’s basically no damage to the environment.”