Save our Sanctuaries

Please sign the Save our Sanctuaries petition here to restore protections for Marine Sanctuaries across NSW. Turtle_source_unknown.jpg

NSW has some of the most bio-diverse oceans in the world. Around 80% of marine species in this state are unique to Australia. Our oceans and coastal areas are also important economic assets to local communities supporting fishing and tourism. And of course they are also a favorite for recreation, whether it is swimming, diving, surfing, or just a day at the beach.

But our marine ecosystems are under pressure and human actions are having a huge impact on our oceans. The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has produced a wonderful online book about the state's marine treasurers and the risks they face. Without adequate protections the resilience of marine ecosystems to handle future shocks from extractive industries like commercial and recreational fishing and mining, and from pollution and the impacts of climate change is being put at risk.

In NSW today less than 7% of our coastal waters are declared sanctuary, or no-fishing, zones. Sanctuaries are incredibly important for protecting marine biodiversity and they increase the size and number of fish and other marine life within the sanctuary areas and also help boost fish numbers outside of the sanctuaries. The science is clear that sanctuary areas are good for fish and good for fishing. You can see the evidence for yourself here.

In 2013 the NSW Government removed sanctuary protections from 30 beaches and headlands across the NSW coast. This was primarily a political tactic to win support from the Shooters and Fishers party. In the lead up to the state election 20 of these sites had their protections restored but 10 are planned to be permanently rezoned to allow recreational line fishing. This will damage the integrity of our marine protections. 

survey in 2014 found 93% of people in NSW support marine sanctuaries. Even among recreational fishers, 91% support the idea of sanctuaries and 64% are opposed to marine sanctuaries being open for fishing. So if the community supports sanctuaries, why is the Government removing them?

The Greens are supporting calls for full sanctuary protections to be restored.

Only with community support can we move the Government to restore our sanctuaries and protect our marine biodiversity.

Whether you live near one of NSW’s Marine Parks, are a regular visitor or just want to ensure we have fish for the future - this affects you. The 10 areas the Government are proposing will loose sanctuary protections are: 

Cape Byron Marine Park:

  • Tyagarah Beach
  • East Cape Byron

Solitary Islands Marine Park (near Coffs Harbour):

  • Minnie Water Back Beach
  • Bare Bluff to Diggers Point and Moonee Beach

Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park:

  • Celito South
  • Fiona Beach

Bateman’s Marine Park:

  • North Head
  • Congo Point South Beach and Mullimburra Point to Bingie Beach
  • Brou Beach
  • Bullengella Beach and Bogola Head Beach to Loader Beach

You can see more information on NSW’s Marine Parks and Sanctuary Zones on the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority’s website.

Please sign the Save our Sanctuaries petition here to restore protections for Marine Sanctuaries across NSW.