Discover underwater gems at the 2013 Marine Discovery Series

11 Jan 2013

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The Marine Discovery Series is back at the National Marine Science Centre for the sixth year, with the first lecture for 2013 to be held on the 17 January.

Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP) Education Officer, Chantelle Burns, said the Marine Discovery Series lectures have proven popular in providing the public with insight into the marine environment, Solitary Islands Marine Park and the park’s natural values.

“To start this year’s series, world renowned photographer Gary Bell is set to present a lecture on nature photography,” Ms Burns said.

“Gary will showcase some stunning images of our underwater environment and its natural gems.

“His deep respect for wildlife and the environment is evident in the way Gary captures his extraordinary images, so be prepared to see some truly stunning photographs.”

Gary Bell has won several international awards, including the Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year in 1990, 1991, and 1992, and has been commissioned by National Geographic Society to photograph the Great White Sharks, marine life and habitats of the Great Barrier Reef.

“I like to explore new ecosystems and try to capture on film some special moments,” Mr Bell said.

“The extraordinary beauty of the natural world never ceases to amaze me. The Solitary Islands Marine Park is an excellent place to discover some of these natural wonders.

“A highlight is North Solitary Island which offers a wide range of tropical species to photograph, including the spectacular anemonefish at Anemone Bay, an area which has the densest aggregation of host anemones and their anemonefish worldwide.”

Ms Burns said the Solitary Islands Marine Park is a drawcard for many talented scientists and marine enthusiasts.

“Solitary Islands Marine Park is the oldest marine park in NSW, stretching from the base of Muttonbird Island north to Plover Island and covering an area of almost 71,000 hectares,” she said.

“The mixing of warm tropical currents with cool temperate waters creates a unique habitat that includes tropical, sub tropical and cool temperate species.”

Ms Burns said the success of the Marine Discovery Series comes down to the high quality of the presenters that have lectured over the years.

“Attending these lectures is an excellent way to discover what is in your blue backyard and is provided free of charge, with no bookings required,” Ms Burns said.

The Marine Discovery Series is a joint initiative between Southern Cross University National Marine Science Centre and Marine Parks Authority. Lectures are held bi monthly, with six lectures planned for 2013.

The first Marine Discovery Series lecture for 2013 will be held on 17 January, 6.30-7.30pm at the National Marine Science Centre. Enter through the main foyer.

For more information on the Marine Discovery Series call 02 6691 0606. Information on upcoming lectures will be posted on the Marine Parks website.

Stunning image of a cuttlefish by award winning underwater photographer Gary Bell.

Media contact: Tom Braz