Today marks the addition of the second only marine park in Territory waters. The new Limmen Bight Marine Park was welcomed by stakeholders for the benefits it will bring to the Top End’s fishing, tourism and marine life.
Long term Territory fisher Ash Winks said: “Limmen Bight, at the mouth of the Roper River in the Gulf of Carpentaria is one of the Territory’s greatest coastal treasures. The region’s healthy waters, incredible marine life and remoteness attract recreational fishers and visitors from across the country. This is supporting a growing tourism economy.
“The Park’s management arrangements approved by the NT Parliament today will help safeguard these values and provide economic opportunities for the local community going forward.
“The commitment to ban seabed mining from the marine park is very welcome. Seabed mining is the equivalent of bulldozing the sea floor and would decimate marine life, pollute the waters and threaten fishing.”
Paul Arnold, artist and bush explorer said: “Limmen is particularly important as a stronghold for marine life under pressure elsewhere including dugongs, turtles and sawfish.
“We’ve also got some of the country’s best fishing in the Roper and Limmen region but over time I’ve seen the health of these waters start to decline.
“With growing threats to the region from industrial expansion, pollution, and mangrove dieback, this plan for protection is needed more than ever.
“A strong marine park plan, with good management and future funding commitments in the Territory Budget will protect our wildlife and create significant benefits for the Territory’s people, fishing and tourism economy, just as it has in other places like the Kimberley,” Mr Arnold added.
Hugh Gange of the multi-award-winning fishing tour company Cobourg Fishing Safaris said: “Our business operates at Cobourg Marine Park. Visitors travel from across Australia and the world to fish with us as they know they will have a superior fishing and wildlife experience in a marine park.
“Our business relies on healthy waters and plenty of fish. A well managed marine park in Limmen Bight will not only ensure we’ve got great fishing for the future, it’ll also become a powerful tourism drawcard and that’s great for the Territory economy and jobs.”
Note: Limmen National Park and Limmen Bight Marine Park are closed. Local communities are closed. We are going to have to wait until covid-related restrictions are lifted before we can go visit and enjoy this new Marine Park.
Paul Arnold, Ambassador for Keep Top End Coasts Healthy. Ph 0417 978 572
Adele Pedder, Director Keep Top End Casts Healthy. Ph 0422 108 539
Pic caption: Limmen Bight Marine Park by Paul Arnold