Marine Protection 

Support the 30×30 to protect NSW’s marine environment  

Step up and become a marine sanctuary champion  

Marine sanctuaries are the heart of marine conservation, special places where marine habitats and species are given the same total protection from damage and exploitation that applies to a national park or nature reserve.  

Advocate to:  

Expand sanctuaries  

Ensure that NSW interprets the 2022 Global Biodiversity Framework 30×30 target to mean aspiring for 30% No Take Sanctuary Areas, free from resource activities. 

Support the science  

Best-practice Marine Protected Area planning follows the international gold standard of Comprehensive, Adequate & Representative (CAR) principles. This means protecting the missing bioregions. This includes establishing a Sydney Marine Park

Restore lost sanctuaries  

Six sanctuaries are in legal limbo in the Batemans Marine Park, open to fishing. Ten more were rezoned for fishing. And, the 2011 Solitary Island Marine Park sanctuary upgrade from 12% to 20% needs your support to be re-passed through parliament. 

The value of sanctuaries:  

Reverse species decline  

In just one decade, Australian wild fish stocks plummeted by just a third (2005-2015) due to excessive fishing, such as for snapper and bream. Sanctuaries can help fish populations to rebound! 

Bigger Fish More Eggs  

Marine sanctuaries provide refuge for fish from being caught, allowing fish to grow large and reproduce. The bigger the fish, the more eggs they produce and these eggs are dispersed beyond the sanctuary. This is a win for food security! 

Increased abundance  

Five years after the creation of the Batemans Marine Park research showed fish abundance was 38% higher inside the marine sanctuaries than in partially protected areas. After eight years of protection in the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park, snapper numbers and size increased inside of sanctuary zones, with an almost three-fold increase in numbers at Broughton Island. 

Only 7% of NSW state waters are protected as sanctuary, far below the global standard. Spillover studies show we need to set aside more refuge for adult fish to grow large and reproduce. 

Learn more: read ‘Creating a world class Marine Protected Area system: getting New South Wales back on track’, by Professor of Marine Ecology David Booth, University of Technology Sydney.   

Make saving marine life a part of your legacy:  

  1. Write to your local MP explaining why we must restore, retain, and expand on the existing sanctuary network.  
  1. Join NPA NSW and get involved in MPA advocacy and planning activities.  
  1. Download and share flyer at a community gathering.