Steve tabled a Certificate of Appreciation from Dragon Search at our March meeting. It was awarded to him for his support of Dragon Search during 1996. Steve was also applauded by members at the meeting for receiving the certificate.
In January Philip Hall tabled a letter to be sent to the Government regarding the issuing of licences for the collection of Leafy Seadragons. Our January Newsletter outlined the main recommendations from the letter. The latest issue of Southern Regional Ripples (the insert in the Marine & Coastal Community Network’s Waves newsheet), Vol.3, No.4, not only gives full details of the letter but also announces a promise from the Minister for Primary Industries, Rob Kerin. The Minister has promised to improve seadragon conservation measures.
He wrote to say “that any threat to the species must be minimised and adequate protection measures must be established to maintain this important species”. The Director of Fisheries has been advised by the Minister not to issue any further permits for this financial year, with advice to be taken as to action after that.
Primary Industries has also been asked to investigate the feasibility of marine protected areas for the habitat of both species, as well as investigate the prolamation of the Weedy Seadragon as a protected species. A seadragon art exhibition was held at Semaphore during Sea Week (16-23 March). The work of four artists was displayed at the Sestri Restaurant. There was also a Dragon Search display which included MLSSA support.