Conservation groups have welcomed the NSW Government’s plan to create a marine park to protect the coast, beaches, headlands and marine life of the Sydney region.
“Today’s announcement opens the way to giving Sydney’s iconic blue backyard the protection it deserves,” Australian Marine Conservation Society CEO Darren Kindleysides said. “This is a really good opportunity for our marine life and everyone who loves fishing, boating, diving and swimming.
“Sydney is home to one of the planet’s greatest coastlines, with stunning marine life to match. Unfortunately, protection for this part of the coast has been far from world-class. This announcement is a signal that this is about to change.”
Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said: “The NSW Government deserves credit for listening to the scientific evidence and the overwhelming public support for a marine park for the Sydney region.
“We now need people to make the most of this opportunity by having a say during the consultation period to ensure we get the best possible protection the Sydney’s beaches, bays and headlands, and our beloved marine life and coastal lifestyle.”
Sydney Marine Park Campaigner Sharnie Connell said: “The science shows sanctuary zones in marine parks work because they increase the diversity, size, and abundance of marine life.
“Science-based sanctuary protection for the Sydney region will also secure a healthy blue backyard for our boating, swimming, surfing and fishing lifestyle.
“Our harbour, coastline and beaches are part of what makes the Sydney region so special, but being on the doorstep of three major cities means that our seas are under pressure from coastal development, fishing, pollution, and climate change.
“It is vital we give our coastal waters a chance to recover so they can continue to support the astonishing variety of marine life we have on our doorstep – from weedy sea dragons to fairy penguins and whales.
“Over the coming weeks, we’ll be thoroughly reviewing the proposal to make sure all the important places receive the protection they deserve.
“We urge the government to now swiftly move to create the marine park as our marine life has already waited years for this important opportunity.
“Many members of parliament including Bruce Notley-Smith, James Griffin and Felicity Wilson have worked to champion today’s announcement.
“Today the Coalition joined the ALP and the Greens in their public support for a marine park for the Sydney region.”
ABOUT MARINE PARKS
NSW marine parks are multiple-use and allow a range of activities including recreational fishing, commercial fishing, boating, diving, snorkelling and swimming across the region. The activities allowed are determined by zoning arrangements developed through community consultation.
When the Marine Park for the Sydney region is fully established, NSW will have seven coastal and offshore marine parks. The others include Cape Byron, Solitary Islands, Port Stephens, Jervis Bay, Batemans and Lord Howe.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
The Sydney Marine Park campaign is a joint project of the Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
James Tremain | Nature Conservation Council | 0419 272 254
Ingrid Neilson | Australian Marine Conservation Society | 0421 972 731
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