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Torres Strait Regional Authority forms a strategic alliance with the Australian Institute of Marine Science

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The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) and Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) have identified significant areas of mutual interest that warrant formalisation of a strategic alliance. On Thursday 27 June 2021 both parties entered into a memorandum of understanding to honour their ongoing and long-term commitment to the marine environment of the region.

Across the world, coral reefs are in decline. Some Torres Strait reefs in the west were impacted by bleaching in 2015-16, but the reefs of eastern Torres Strait remain in good condition. The coral reefs in the Torres Strait are an essential part of the marine environment and an important cultural resources for the people in the region. This is highlighted in the Land and Sea Management Strategy for Torres Strait 2016-2036. The Strategy identifies monitoring of coral reefs in Torres Strait as one of the priorities to understand the dynamic nature of this ecosystem in order to better inform reef management in the future.

The TSRA Chairperson Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM said, “The MoU will clarify the role, responsibilities and resources that can be provided by both parties to support the continued delivery of world class, ethical and collaborative marine research in the Torres Strait”.

He noted, “The MoU also allows TSRA’s Environmental Management Programme to achieve its objectives by collecting data to ensure cultural resources are sustainably managed in line with community priorities, and to build resilience and the ability for communities to adapt to climate change”.

AIMS is Australia’s leading tropical marine research agency with a mission to provide the research and knowledge of Australia’s tropical marine estate to support its sustainable use, effective environmental management, and protection of its unique ecosystems. AIMS has played a key role in supporting TSRA and Torres Strait Island communities to better understand the marine environment for over 20 years.

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