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Ocean swimming… with Beachwatch

Beachwatch test the water quality of Sydney beaches to see if they are suitable for swimming. The program also partners with councils and wastewater managers for swimming sites along the NSW coast. Water samples are collected and tested for bacteria, which may suggest faecal pollution, and influence whether the beach is safe for swimming. The program started in 1989 due to sewage pollution washing up on Sydney beaches - there was literally poo on the beach… These days, water quality has...


Ocean swimming… in plastic pollution

It is estimated that ocean plastics will outweigh ocean fish by 2050, according to a study by the World Economic Forum. There are at least 5.25 trillion plastic pieces floating in the oceans right now. Dr. Jennifer Lavers is a Research Scientist at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. She is a marine eco-toxicologist with expertise in tropical and temperate seabird ecology, plastic pollution (marine debris), invasive species manage [...]


Ocean swimming… on other planets

Can you ocean swim on other planets? Perhaps! Water is far more common in the Universe than you might think, and there are many other oceans out there, even on our neighbours in our own solar system. Associate Professor Jonti Horner is an astronomer and astrobiologist who works in the Computational Engineering and Science Research Centre at the University of Southern Queensland. We caught up at the Australian Space Research Conference. It is currently thought that there are oceans deep...


Ocean swimming… with flesh-eating sea lice

A Melbourne man recently emerged from the ocean with his legs covered in blood seeping from thousands of tiny wounds. Dr. Murray Thomson from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at The University of Sydney, thinks that Cirolana harfordi, a small crustacean that lives on the coast and in rivers, may have been to blame. These creatures have been known to take down sharks, have bitten divers on the face and have even skeletonised the top half of a human, using their slicing,...