Turning the Tide Newsletter – Summer 2024
Some of the richest yet least protected waters in Australia are sitting right off Australia’s south-eastern coast.
Migratory whales journey to and from Antarctica along this coast twice a year, providing one of the best opportunities to spot these popular marine mammals. Iconic species such as cuttlefish (featured on page 2), leafy seadragons and southern bluefin tuna roam here.
Mysterious deep ocean canyons are found here, providing habitat for a diverse range of species, from ancient deep water corals, sea urchins and sponges, to fish and crabs with fascinating adaptations for survival in the deep.
The south-east marine region is globally recognised for species found nowhere else on Earth. In fact around 85% of the known fish and 62% of the seafloor flora are considered endemic.
Yet this stunning region, bursting with life, has the poorest marine park protection in the country with only 8% fully protected in marine sanctuaries.
Global Warming Hotspot
Rapidly warming waters, combined with heavy commercial fishing pressure and impacts from oil and gas industry activities, have created a perfect storm of decline.
The waters in the south-east are heating at a rate 3-4 times the global average making it a global warming hotspot.
Take Action: South-East Network
14 Australian Marine Parks off the coast of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, covering 702,033 square kilometres make up the South-east Network.
The South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network Management Plan expired on 30 June 2023. The new draft will be subject to public consultation in February 2024.
The South-east marine park region currently has the poorest marine park protection in the country, with 92% of the region currently without marine sanctuary protection.
To protect its outstanding marine life, experts advise we must more than double the area protected in marine sanctuaries.
We need your support to ensure that strong protections for our special south-east.