In 1981 the Australian Science and Technology Council produced a report entitled “Towards a Marine Sciences and Technologies Programme for the 1980’s”. This report marked a much needed awakening to the need for Australia to develop it’s marine resources and to assume responsibility for the stewardship of its coastal waters and the 200 nautical mile offshore zone. The report also stressed that co-operative programmes were needed to pursue national objectives that relate to economic exploitation of marine resources, management and conservation policies and the fulfilment of social responsibilities.
At about the same time the decision was made by CSIRO to locate its Divisions of Oceanography and Fisheries Research in Hobart, so vacating the miarne laboratories at Cronulla in New South Wales. Almost simultaneously, and to the deep regret of all marine scientists, the decision to close the Roche Research Institute of Marine Pharmacology was announced. These two decisions meant that the prosecution of marine science in New South Wales suffered a severe set-back. Opportunities for collaborative research, educational co-operation, and employment for marine scientists in New South Wales were all reduced. We have paradox in New South Wales of the Australian Science and Technology Council calling for “the efficient deployment and progressive development of the resources, facilities and expertise in government agencies, educational research institutions and in industry”, while at the same time the nexus in the marine sciences between industry, government agencies and educational and research institutions was being dismantled.