NSW Greens Marine spokesperson Justin Field has congratulated the community for its hard work advocating for a Sydney Marine Park proposal, which has resulted in the NSW Government announcing consultation on new network of marine protected areas between Newcastle and Wollongong.
The new marine proposal would improve protection of 25 sites between Newcastle and Wollongong. Increased protection is suggested at numerous Sydney beaches and headlands, including new sanctuary zones off Bronte-Coogee, North Harbour, Camp Cove and Chowder Bay.
Mr Field welcomed the marine estate plan and urged the NSW Government to be more ambitious with the creation of a single, continuous marine park rather than 25 discrete protected sites.
“I welcome the announcement today of community consultation on a range of sanctuary zones and other protected marine areas along the NSW coast from Newcastle to Wollongong,” he said.
“The Greens have supported the strong, long-term community movement for greater marine protection responsible in shifting the balance towards stronger action.
“The area of sanctuary protection falls well short of other marine parks in NSW at just 2.4% of the region, but hopefully this represent a first step toward protecting marine life and coastal environments. The Greens would like to see this network of sites protected by law well before the next state election in March next year.
“More than 90% of the NSW community, including fishers, support marine parks and sanctuaries an investment in a healthier marine environment for all. Over a decade of scientific assessment shows these protected areas are effective.
“Sanctuary zones are special places where fish can go to feed, breed and rest without threat from human activities. Sanctuary zones, together with other protected areas, are essential to build resilience in our marine environment to respond to pressures and help ensure fish for the future.
“I urge the community to have its say on the proposed marine park over the next six weeks of public consultation.
“The NSW Government is also currently reviewing marine parks and sanctuary areas at Solitary Island and Bateman’s Bay and they should similarly maintain or increase protection at these sites,” Mr Field said.
More information on the new marine park proposal here: www.marine.nsw.gov.au
Map of proposed marine protected areas here: https://www.marine.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/821246/Hawkesbury-marine-park-proposal-map-2018.PDF