Australian Seashells P/L is owned and operated by Hugh Morrison and Simone
We are an online business (no shop / storefront) located in Perth, Western Australia.
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, crafts & 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 updating our library of informative literature on seashells and mollusca for years. We can now offer a great selection of seashells and literature on this subject online. We distribute books, buy and sell seashells (and entire collections) and regularly exhibit and exchange seashells at the main annual International Seashell Shows & Conventions.
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 (this should go without saying) we 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 our 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, with the WA Museum in charge of recording biodiversity. Marine invertebrate departments are usually sorely underfunded and understaffed everywhere, with the WAM team no exception. As mankind is faced with an ever increasing rate of habitat loss resulting from climate change, curators around the world simply can't keep up anymore. Our planet is now losing species faster than humans can find, name and describe them (see http://www.laplaneterevisitee.org/en/77/home for more info).
A broad practical knowledge of seashells (i.e. morphology / conchological features) is invaluable for quick ID assessment. Kids are generally now taught to "look, but don't touch!", so they may not experience much of the natural world, growing up. Today's biology students often lack interests and skills that were commonplace even a generation ago. With modern scientific education encouraging specialisation (i.e. molecular studies), a zoologist may be basically helpless when asked to classify a common shell sitting in front of them.
Having an experienced collector tell you at a glance what species you are looking at saves a huge amount of time. Working in specimen collections and data entry are time-consuming tasks, where knowledgeable amateurs can offer considerable efficiency. Natural History Museums around the world do need help and will gladly encourage volunteers.
Hugh has been donating specimens, time and
expertise to assist curators at the WAM invertebrate department for decades.
He is also diving and taking part in scientific expeditions to
discover and describe new species in his spare time.
Where do you live and what knowledge can you supply about your local area? Watch this short video on the EOL site to see how you can help with the global project!
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