Wednesday 17 May 2023
The royal penguin is as Aussie as the kangaroo and koala – a little-known fact that polar adventurer Tim
Jarvis AM hopes to change as he starts a national film tour in Brisbane today, advocating for Australia to
boost protection for its unique Southern Ocean marine life.
In his latest journey to the icy south, the environmental scientist – best known for recreating the
Antarctic survival journeys of both Sir Ernest Shackleton and Sir Douglas Mawson – has turned his
attention to Australia’s World Heritage-listed, Macquarie Island.
“There’s no denying the breath-taking scale and grandeur of Antarctica but visiting Macquarie Island this
summer was an absolute revelation. Honestly, nothing can prepare you for the sheer abundance of
marine life on, and around, this spectacular island,” Tim Jarvis says.
“There are millions of seabirds, penguins and seals breeding, feeding and thriving smack-bang in the
middle of the harsh Southern Ocean. Some species, like the royal penguin, live nowhere else on the
“This incredible place, halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica, provides a window into what
ecosystems could be like if we left them alone – and it’s our responsibility to ensure it stays that way.”
The Macquarie Island Marine Park, which covers only a fraction of Australia’s waters around the island, is
now under review. The Australian government has proposed almost tripling the marine park to include
all of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone, out to a radius of almost 400 km around the island.
In a short but powerful documentary made during his visit to Macquarie, Tim Jarvis praises the
commitment Australian and Tasmanian governments have shown to eradicating feral pests from the
island and says that now is the time to ensure all those gains are not wasted.
“We’ve done a lot of fantastic work protecting the land from all the introduced species here – the mice,
the rats, the cats – and we should celebrate the fact that we’ve done that so well. But now … the next
stage just has to be better marine protection, otherwise what are the seals and the penguins and all the
three-and-a-half million seabirds that live here going to eat? … And now is our opportunity, and we just
have to take it,” Tim Jarvis said.
Tim Jarvis is urging Australians to show their support for stronger marine protection by backing the
proposal to expand Macquarie Island Marine Park. The proposal is open for public consultation until
Tim Jarvis will be speaking about his experiences on Macquarie Island and debuting his short
documentary – Macquarie Island: Australia’s Jewel in the Southern Ocean – at Five Star Cinemas in New
Farm in Brisbane on Wednesday May 17.
The event, hosted by the Save Our Marine Life Alliance and the Australian Marine Conservation Society,
is already fully booked, as are many other events in the capital-city tour which will travel to Sydney
(Thurs 18/5), Hobart (24/5), Melbourne (25/5), Adelaide (31/5) and finish in Perth on World Oceans Day,
Further screenings may be held in regional areas and the short film will be made available online at a