Sharnie Connell, Senior Campaigns Officer
NPA is pleased to announce our campaigns team will be spending more time on our less visible but no less important marine conservation issues. Just like our terrestrial environment, the unrelenting attacks on our underwater conservation networks are continuing. At this time, when we know we need to be protecting more of our natural world than ever before, the pressure to open up remaining pockets of sanctuary to allow them to be exploited has never been greater.
The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) has expressed outrage at the recent announcement by the NSW Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall that vital sanctuary zones in Batemans Marine Park, including iconic Montague Island will be scrapped.
Hayley Egan, Barefeet
There are many misconceptions surrounding cultural access to aquatic resources both in NSW and throughout Australia. Many people assume that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have unlimited access or no rules when it comes to harvesting resources. In NSW this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no single set of guidelines, legislation or regulations to govern cultural access. Native Title over water in NSW has for the first time been formally acknowledged in determinations in 2019. The details of the access rights to those claimants are slowly filtering through. Currently in NSW waters Aboriginal Cultural Fishing is acknowledged as a fishery along with Commercial and Recreational Fisheries. Though unlike the other two there are no regulations to govern access rights for the sector. Since 2010 there have been Interim Access Arrangements, which have evolved slightly over the last nine years. However, these are not legally binding like regulations, and as a result there are a lot of grey areas in their interpretation. This has led to the community mistrusting the Department and being in the dark about their rights within the fishery.
Sue Newsome, Professional diver and marine conservationist
John Turnbull, Social ecologist
Adele Pedder, Australian Society for Marine Conservation
The world’s oceans are facing increasing challenges with climate change, pollution and overfishing. In light of these challenges it is becoming increasingly important to set aside large areas of our ocean to restore some balance beneath the waves and allow marine ecosystems to function in their natural state. Globally more and more nations are relying on marine parks to give their parts of our blue planet a fighting chance.
John Turnbull, Member, National Parks Association of NSW
Deforestation. A drive through the forests around Port Macquarie or Eden is all it takes to see the impact of the clearing of our native terrestrial forests. We can see the bulldozers and logging trucks. On a grander scale, with the help of satellite imagery, we can see the loss of native forests over time. In the years since European colonisation, for example, Australia has lost almost 40% of its native terrestrial forests[i].