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Moruya Probus told of dangers to the deep

GUEST speaker at the monthly meeting of Moruya Probus on Tuesday was Fiona

McCuaig, manager of Bodalla Dairy Shed.

But she didn’t talk about the dairy industry, instead keeping the 34 members, and four guests, entranced talking about her links with Sea Shepherd and her concerns about the world’s wildlife

Fiona was a full-time volunteer for Sea Shepherd for two-and- a- half years going with it on four campaigns with Sea Shepherd including three anti-whaling campaigns in Antarctica and the Faroe Islands.

​She now spends time educating Australians about the importance and necessity of healthy oceans.

“My passion,” she told members, “is marine conservation…saving this beautiful planet we live in.

Talking of the Sea Shepherd involvement in protecting whales she said: “we don’t ram anyone…we aggravate people who are poaching so they ram us”. With screened photographs providing a background Fiona spoke of encounters with Japanese whalers, who she claimed were breaking several laws, causing their catches to be considerably reduced.

The Faroe Islands had also been visited seeing the large numbers of whales killed there.

Other sea-going creatures were also of concern she said, with about 90-percent of large fish gone with jelly fish taking over.

She also gave some details of concerns regarding ocean warming and acidification, and, on a brighter note, the benefits of marine parks. Closer to home about fifty-percent of rocky reefs in southern NSW were “urchin-barren”.

Asked why, in that case, we were not eating sea urchins (people on the Mediterranean shores consider them delicacies) Fiona said she would take up the question.

Earlier in the meeting acting tours officer Netta Berringer said so far twelve Moruya members had signed up for a trip to Mudgee area organised by Batemans Bay Probus for October 29 to November 3. There was room for two more, she said.

Netta said trips to Bawley Point and Horse Island gardens were still being planned as was a day out mid-August on a boat trip from Batemans Bay and Nelligen, and back.

Moruya Probus meets at Moruya Golf Club at ten-o’clock on the fourth Tuesday of each month with potential new members always more than welcome.

There are many advantages with being a member of Probus. Apart from meeting new friends, and sometimes some old ones, there are opportunities of being involved in outings. There are discounts for some members with restaurants and hotels and more reasonable travel insurance rates that seniors may otherwise be offered.

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