Australian Seashells P/L is owned and operated by Hugh Morrison and Simone
We are an online business (no shop / storefront) located in Perth, Australia, WA.
Hugh Morrison has been collecting shells since childhood. His love of shells originally led to his involvement in the scuba diving industry in the early 70's, followed by a long career as Australian professional scuba instructor trainer, author and manager of Perth Diving Academy P/L.
While leading diving expeditions around the world, Hugh has been finding and enjoying shells for the last 40 years or so, which eventually prompted him to turn one of his passions into a secondary career and open a seashell business.
Australian Seashells PTY Ltd. was founded when Simone Pfuetzner arrived in Australia (1995) and loved it. Simone is a fellow diver and jeweller, mainly focusing on the art, craft & design aspects of seashells. Together, Hugh & Simone run what is now Australia's largest licensed seashell dealership, besides also being professionally involved with scuba diving.
Thanks to our keen interest in all things natural history / marine biology / dive travel and our association with likeminded people around the globe, we've been able to constantly update our online library of seashells and mollusca for years. We are offering a great selection of seashell literature for sale online. We distribute books and buy & sell seashells, including entire collections. We exhibit regularly and travel to the main annual International Seashell Shows & Conventions around the world.
Sustainability and the environment are a constant concern for us. Our location in Perth, Western Australia happily enjoys one of the most extensive and successful Fisheries managements worldwide. The fishing of specimen shells is strictly regulated by the WA Fisheries Department, which only issues a very limited number of licenses to professionals like us. Avoiding unlawful trade with CITES listed species is of course a priority and we always aim to source all our decorative / bulk seashell material solely from reputable and responsible suppliers.
When scuba diving in Australia over many years, you can't help but notice the heavy pressure on local marine ecosystems (Watch JEN 'Charlie' Veron's illuminating 2009 Royal Society talk on the subject of Australia's Great Barrier Reef here). Our largely remote Western Australian coastline is over 20,000 km long and the WA Museum is in charge of recording its biodiversity. An enviable job! Like most marine invertebrate departments everywhere, the WAM holds substantial collections while being sorely underfunded and understaffed. We are now faced with an unprecedented rate of habitat loss resulting from ever increasing population, pollution and climate change, so curators and zoologists around the world already can't keep up anymore. Our planet is now losing marine species faster than we humans can find, name and describe them (see http://www.laplaneterevisitee.org/en/77/home for info).
This coincides with a fundamental shift in scientific education over the most recent couple of generations. Although a broad practical knowledge of taxonomy and shell characteristics (morphology) is invaluable for quick ID assessment, modern scientific education encourages specialisation (i.e. molecular studies) over a conceptual approach (i.e. taxonomy) to such a degree that marine biology staff may never acquire the basic skills required to identify a common local seashell species sitting in front of them. It follows that standard scientific tasks in specimen collections and data entry work take even longer to complete now than they used to. Having an experienced collector tell you at a glance what species you are looking at can save a huge amount of time. Marine invertebrate departments in Natural History Museums around the world all need assistance and will gladly encourage knowledgeable volunteers.
Hugh has been donating specimens, time and
expertise to assist curators in the Western Australian Museum invertebrate
section for several decades.
He is also diving and taking part in scientific expeditions to
discover and describe new species in his spare time.
Anyone can contribute: Where do you live? What useful local info do you have about your area? Watch this short video on the EOL site to see how you can help..
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