We need your help to stop the NSW Government dismantling marine sanctuaries in our NSW marine parks.
In December 2019, Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall and local Member Andrew Constance stripped away six of the sanctuary zones in the Batemans Marine Park. They gloatingly encouraged fishing in the sanctuaries, precious habitats that had been slowly recovering over the decade since their declared.
The Batemans sanctuaries were established on the basis of detailed science and after extensive public consultation. They were stripped away at the stroke of a Minister’s pen, all for a cheap headline.
Stripping away the sanctuaries was contrary to marine parks legislation and ignored scientific advice. Andrew Constance announced that public consultation would be “fast-tracked” after the changes had already taken place, effectively snubbing the Yuin, the Batemans Marine Park Advisory Committee and all the ecotourism businesses that rely upon a healthy environment.
Marine sanctuaries protect marine life and habitats in much the same way as National Parks on land. The large wildlife that survives in sanctuaries are essential for the maintenance and repopulation of exploited species across the broader area. Sanctuaries allow wildlife to grow to full adulthood, restoring the function of the entire ecosystem. This contrasts starkly with areas where fisheries rules prevail, where many species are reduced to a fraction of their natural abundance, which in turn disrupts the ecological balance of the ecosystem.
Re-introducing fishing into the Batemans sanctuaries devastates all the conservation gains that have slowly built in the decade since they were declared. Even worse, let’s not imagine that this is the end of Agriculture Minister Marshall’s ambition to dismantle all marine sanctuaries along the NSW coast. We cannot let this happen!