Drones and sharks, marine poaching, a post-flying world, and more: The Conversation

Published in the February 2017 issue

Southern Cross University researchers (and colleagues from other universities and institutions) have featured in The Conversation in recent months:

  • How drones can help fight the war on shark attacks
  • Life in a post-flying Australia, and why it might actually be ok
  • How to tackle the rising tide of poaching in Australia’s tropical seas
  • When it comes to election campaigns, is the gambling lobby all bark and no bite?
  • No more blame game: why we need to rethink what’s behind chronic disease

 

How drones can help fight the war on shark attacks

By Brendan Kelaher, Andrew Colefax, Bob Creese, Paul Butcher, Vic Peddemors

Following an unprecedented series of shark attacks off Australian beaches, the need to find practical solutions is intensifying. Aerial drones could be an important tool for reducing risk of shark attacks on our beaches within the coming years. Read more

 

Life in a post-flying Australia, and why it might actually be ok

By Martin Young, Francis Markham, James Higham, John Jenkins

In Australia, the amount of aviation fuel consumed per head of population has more than doubled since the 1980s. We now use, on average, 2.2 barrels (or 347 litres) of jet fuel per person per year. This historically unprecedented aeromobility has enormous environmental costs. Aviation is contributing to around 4.9% of current global warming and this is forecast to at least triple by 2050. Domestic aviation in Australia produces around 8.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. Read more

 

How to tackle the rising tide of poaching in Australia’s tropical seas

By Steven Purcell and Hampus Eriksson

High-value marine species in waters off northern Australia are at increasing risk of poaching by foreign fishing crews, according to figures from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority. The number of foreign fishing boats caught in Australian waters increased from six in 2014–15 to 20 in 2015–16. These fishers have evidently come to poach species that fetch high prices and have been overfished elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region. They seek “lootable resources” – species that are attractive to the black market because they are expensive, easy to catch and weakly regulated. Read more

 

When it comes to election campaigns, is the gambling lobby all bark and no bite?

By Francis Markham and Martin Young

The gambling lobby’s influence in overriding popular opinion and the public interest in Australia is well-known. But is its electoral power exaggerated? A look at this year’s ACT election suggests that perhaps the gambling industry is less influential than it appears to be. Read more

 

No more blame game: why we need to rethink what’s behind chronic disease

By Garry Egger and John Dixon

The government and policy makers often tell the public lifestyle problems such as obesity, and the diabetes often associated with it, are their fault; just be a bit more virtuous and you won’t get a modern disease. This victim blaming tends to absolve governments, health bodies and big business from any blame for the modern chronic disease epidemic. Instead, we propose a new way of looking at what’s behind chronic disease, one that takes into account social, environmental and other factors. Read more

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