National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) fully supports a letter by a group of 23 prominent marine scientists who are concerned that the government is using ‘paper parks’, or partially protected areas, to claim they have reached the goal of 30% marine protection.
NPA CEO Gary Dunnett stated “It is important that the Australian Government pursues the scientific goal of 30 percent full ‘no take’ marine protected areas across the whole of state and federal waters.
“We call on the Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek to take the advice of Australia’s leading scientists. When you break Australia down onto a bioregion scale, we are not meeting the 30% target.
“NSW is going backwards, not forwards with marine protection. Since 2013, the NSW government has opened 36 marine sanctuaries to fishing — we fought hard to get 20 of those sanctuaries back. However, 16 remain open to fishing.
“We are further concerned with the NSW government’s current planning review, that we may see a further reduction in sanctuary areas.
“Only about 9.6% of state waters in Australia are protected, and in NSW we are well below this figure. We are also missing marine parks in two key bioregions — the Hawkesbury Shelf in Sydney and Two-Fold Bay in Eden.
“If we are to resolve the mass biodiversity loss and climate crisis, we need our governments to lead with bold visions that deliver sincere outcomes,” concluded Mr Dunnett
Media contacts: Danielle Ryan, Conservation Campaigner, NPA NSW or Gary Dunnett, CEO, NPA NSW (02) 9299 0000