Hundreds of community members attended Ocean Care Day at Bodalla Dairy Shed on the South Coast this past Sunday in a strong show of support for the protection of local marine life, oceans and the unique Batemans Marine Park.
NSW Greens Marine spokesperson and South Coast resident Justin Field said the Liberal/National State Government had already decreased some of the Marine Park's important sanctuary protections and there were concerns about plans for further rezoning later in this year.
“Ocean Care Day was a wonderful celebration of the precious marine life and ocean we love and want to see protected on the South Coast,” he said.
“I’m concerned the NSW Government’s upcoming review of Batemans Marine Park will be a stalking ‘seahorse’ for further winding back sanctuary protections for this special place and its wildlife.
“There are also real concerns the integrity of the Marine Park will be undermined at a time when our oceans and marine life have never been under more pressure from climate disruption, pollution and historical over-fishing.
“These areas need more protection, not less and the community is clear that they won’t accept reducing sanctuary protections and want improved enforcement in the marine park.
“The South Coast community loves its coastal lifestyle, from swimming and snorkelling to fishing and observing marine life such as dolphins, seals and grey nurse sharks. The natural wonders of the Batemans Marine Park are a local favourite and significant tourist attraction.
“The community needs to come together to ensure the Batemans Marine Park is protected and strengthened into the future. We all have an interest in a healthy marine environment and marine parks are multi-use and offer something for everyone and can protect fish for the future.” Mr Field said.