How relevant is MLSSA?
I have been asked, indirectly, to answer that question.
Clearly, we can’t dwell on the past. We can only consider the present and look to the future.
Our long-running organisation provides a special interest group for SA marine life matters.
We hold monthly meetings (Feb to Nov) for like-minded people to attend.
We host a popular Facebook group for the same like-minded people.
We maintain a website which includes regular posts on marine life related topics. (It has been claimed that these posts are no more than one person’s blogs. The ‘blog’ posts were intended to replace the articles published in our previous monthly newsletter. The posts have usually been written by a group of three society members. Anyone is able to submit articles for posting to the site.)
It has also been claimed that our website “distribute(s) information about other organisations’ initiatives” rather than our own. It is true that we introduce like-minded people to similar groups such as Reef Watch, Scuba Divers Federation of SA, AusOcean, Port River Shellfish Restoration Group, Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries, Friends of Gulf St Vincent, Conservation Council of SA, etc.. Some of our members participate in these groups on our behalf. We are a member of the Scuba Divers Federation of SA, AusOcean and the Conservation Council of SA. We also encourage like-minded people to participate in projects such as iNaturalist.
We maintain a worthwhile reference library for use by our members. We recently donated some books from our library for the use of students in Myanmar.
We have used our funds for projects such as our annual calendars and a leaflet lobbying for the protection of blue groper in the past. We still wish to lobby for protection of blue groper and harlequin fish. We ceased producing our annual calendar last year after 19 years, due to insufficient sales. We would have published a book about beachcombing if we had more funding available to us.
We aim to spend more time doing fish surveys and we will adopt a reef through Reef Watch. Members of the public approach us for assistance with marine life matters.
We still seeking a new Patron to fill the vacancy left by Dr Scoresby Shepherd after more than 15 years. We hope that a new Patron will influence and guide us in some way.
It has been suggested that we should merge with another group to become more relevant. That possibility remains an option.
Members have enquired about the availability of society shirts and stickers. These are available via our website at http://mlssa.org.au/shop/ : –
“MLSSA Products – MLSSA Leafy Seadragon Logo Vinyl Stickers and MLSSA Leafy Seadragon Logo T-shirts & hoodies”
MLSSA Leafy Seadragon logo magnets are also available via https://www.zazzle.com/marine_life_society_of_south_australia_logo_magnet-147179852477374960?context=114529070928263395 and MLSSA Leafy Seadragon
greeting cards are available via https://www.redbubble.com/people/marinelifesa/works/12189467-south-australias-leafy-sea-dragon-david-muirhead?card_size=4×6&grid_pos=1&p=greeting-card&rbs=7e3857bf-83f8-4879-a5f2-9d2252e92116&ref=shop_grid&asc=u .
I hope that I’ve answered all of the questions being posed about our Society and that most people still consider MLSSA to be quite relevant.
(Photo by Haixia Wen)