Caring (better) for the Seas

Image "What Goes Around, Come Around" by Bonnie Monteleone
Monday 11 December 2017 | 5.00 - 6.30pm

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Law School Foyer | Level 2 Sydney Law School | Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney.


Diving into the many layers of understanding and modes of relating to the sea.

In partnership with Sydney Ideas and part of the Sustaining the Seas Conference.

Recently documentaries and campaigns have moved from the politics of land, animal welfare, and the terrestrial production of food to focus on oceans and their inhabitants. Images of oceans dense with plastic debris can make us feel guilty about the straws in our cocktails, the fishing of apex predators such as Bluefin tuna make us feel queasy about sushi, and the effects of ocean warming and searise confront many coastal inhabitants in immediate ways.

There is no doubt that we should care about all these issues and many more, but might the question be more helpfully framed as how can we care better for the oceans? To take from JK Gibson-Graham, what are the practices of care that are already happening on the ground – on beaches, in harbours and on the waves?

This panel of academics and NGOs will take us into diverse practices and politics of caring – from caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Sea Countries, NGO campaigns on fish and fishing, to how surfers navigate the necessity of caring for the ocean with a desire to preserve secret surf spots. Together our panelists will explore radically different modes of caring for the ocean and ask whether these can be reconciled.  We will dive into the many layers of understanding and modes of relating to the sea – Indigenous modes of care, scientific models of eco-sustainability, cultures of local fishing communities, leisure activities, spiritual connections, regulations, and commodified ‘taste’ and ‘choice’.


Dr. Leah Lui-Chivizhe, Sydney Environment Institute
Dr. Cat Dorey, Greenpeace
Dr. Clifton Evers, Newcastle University


 Professor Elspeth Probyn, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies

Dr Leah Lui-Chivizhe recently completed her PhD, Le op: an Islander’s history of Torres Strait turtle-shell masks, which focused on Torres Strait Islander relationships and engagements with the marine environment and the Islander-turtle relationship. She is currently a researcher in the Department of History and is organising the panel Caring for Sea Country as part of the Sustaining the Seas conference.

Dr Cat Dorey is a science advisor and campaigner (Tuna Project) at Greenpeace. She work closely with science and policy advisors from other international NGOs and academia. Cat will speak at the conference on the session – In Conversation with Fishers.

Dr Clifton Evers is a lecturer at Newcastle University, UK. He researches media, leisure, sport, belonging, and place-making. He is currently focusing on affective assemblages of care using creative methods such as Go-Pro filming. Clifton will present his recent ethnographic research on coastal surf and fishing communities in the UK.