NSW Greens MP Justin Field will visit Moruya on the South Coast today to meet locals concerned about the future of the Batemans Marine Park under the NSW Government’s new proposed management plan.
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.
Mr Field said the NSW Government has announced a review of the zones and management rules for the Batemans Marine Park as part of its new Marine Estate Management Policies.
“I’m concerned the NSW Government’s review of Batemans Marine Park will be a stalking ‘seahorse’ for further winding back sanctuary protections for this special place and its wildlife,” he said.
“Polls have shown community support for no-take marine sanctuaries are as high as 90%, including amongst recreational fishers.
“A change of rules could diminish the effectiveness of these crucial sanctuary areas and leave the marine park vulnerable. This would be a disaster for nature, coastal communities, people who responsibly fish and all those tourism operators who rely on a healthy marine park.
“At a time when our oceans, marine life and coast are under threat from climate change, pollution and other human impacts, we need more areas fully protected in sanctuaries, not fewer.
“I’m looking forward to meeting a range of stakeholders who are regular users of the marine park. I hope the community will engage proactively in this review and show their support for maintaining and strengthening local marine protections,” he said.