Worrying changes in marine policy in Australia – act now!

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is alarmed to learn that a proposal will soon come before the parliament of New South Wales to place a five-year moratorium on the development of new marine parks, and of new sanctuary (no take) zones within existing marine parks.

Such marine parks are designed to meet the needs of both biodiversity protection and sustainable fisheries, through carefully planned zoning of these sites.

The importance of creating protected areas in our ocean environments is widely recognised. Scientists believe that around 25% of oceans need to be fully protected to ensure the biodiversity and fisheries on our marine environment. To date only 0.6% of the ocean is under protection.

It appears that the New South Wales government has given its ‘in principle’ support to this legislation to stop any new marine parks in New South Wales. This would prevent the development of marine sanctuaries within the highly biodiverse oceans off South-eastern Australia – home to turtles, dolphins, seahorses and hundreds of other marine plants and animals. If adopted, this bill would also set a dangerous precedent for other States in Australia.

The National Parks Association of NSW, and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW are together spearheading a campaign to oppose this bill.
We urge those interested in improving the protection of the marine environment to sign their petition.

Photo credits: Turtle/Peter Le Gras