Marine and Fisheries

The NSW marine environment is home to rich marine life including majestic sea turtles, powerful whales, colourful reef fish, diverse kelp forests and abundant rocky reefs. A unique mixing of coastal currents off our coast means that about 80% of our marine plants and animals are found only in Australia.

But our incredible marine life is under threat. Overfishing, pollution, climate change, introduced marine pests, emerging diseases, inappropriate development and lack of adequate protection are putting our marine life at risk.

Marine parks are a well-proven way to protect our marine environment and the wildlife in our seas. Marine sanctuaries are special areas within marine parks which offer protection just like national parks on land. Here in NSW less than 7% of coastal waters are protected in marine sanctuaries.

In March 2013 the NSW announced they would be allowing line fishing from the shore in these precious marine sanctuaries undermining protection for our marine life. 

Please join with us and sign a petition to Premier O'Farrell and key Ministers urging them to remove fishing from our marine sanctuaries and restore them as safe havens for our rich marine life. Sign the petition today. 

Beyond the Beach - stunning new online flipbook

NSW's marine parks and the extraordinary wildlife they protect are under the spotlight in our stunning new book Beyond the Beach: exploring NSW's underwater treasuresOur marine parks provide refuge and protection for majestic turtles, colourful reef fish, graceful dolphins and adorable seadragons.

Check out the online flipbook here.

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Have your say on the management of the new marine reserves


In June last year Australia announced the creation of the world's largest marine reserve network ever established.

These reserve protections, covering more than three million square kilometers, will stop the most damaging types of fishing and industrial development in extraordinary marine habitats around Australia.

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Grey nurse shark protection falls short

NSW Government measures to improve protection of the critically endangered Grey Nurse Shark do not go far enough to safeguard the species from extinction, the state's peak conservation group the Nature Conservation Council said.

Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson will introduce regulations that include banning baited hook fishing in key breeding areas for the species along the NSW coastline.

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New poll shows overwhelming support for marine reserves

The NSW Government must heed new research confirming strong public support for marine reserves, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

Polling released this week by Essential Media Communications has confirmed overwhelming support for the marine reserves recently announced for Australia’s Commonwealth waters.

With a sample size of 1000, the poll conducted on 20 and 24 June has shown a total of 70% support for the marine reserves, with just 13% disapproval.

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The federal government's proposed marine reserve network for the Temperate East Marine Region

The Temperate East Marine Region off eastern Australia are Commonwealth waters that extend from Fraser Island in the north, to Bermagui in the south and out to Norfolk Island in the east.  They are now the subject of the federal government's bioregional marine planning process.

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Missed opportunity on marine protection

The Federal Government’s release of draft marine reserves in the Commonwealth waters far off the NSW coast is seen as a missed opportunity to establish much-needed protection for marine life by leading environment groups.

”We are calling for the establishment of a network of marine sanctuaries that meet international scientific benchmarks for protection. Unfortunately, this was not achieved in the current draft.” said Nicola Bowskill, from The Wilderness Society.

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Independent Scientific Audit of Marine Parks

The NSW government’s Independent Scientific Audit of Marine Parks is a vital opportunity for securing a future for marine parks based on science, not politics. We need your help to make sure sound science guides the management of our marine parks now and in years to come. Make your submission online by 5pm Friday, 30 September.

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TAKE ACTION: Marine parks moratorium passed with govt support

Yesterday (23 June), without warning, the Shooters and Fishers' Party Marine Parks Amendment (Moratorium) Bill was passed in the NSW Legislative Council.

Once passed by the Legislative Assembly, a moratorium on new marine parks and sanctuary zones will be in place:

1. for the next five years; or
2. until the Ministers for Fisheries and Environment decide to lift the moratorium.

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Have your say on the Review of Grey Nurse Shark Protection

Please make a submission today and let the Government know you support stronger protection for grey nurse sharks. Submissions close on Friday, August 26 2011.

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Welcome to Nice Choice!

The NSW marine environment is under increasing pressure. Many species are now under threat due to over fishing.

The 'Nice Choice!' project has been developed to inform and educate consumers about how you can make better sustainable seafood choices.

The project aims to inform and educate the public about sustainable seafood by promoting alternative species that are currently undervalued at sustainable levels.

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© 2012 Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales Australia Inc. Except where otherwise explicitly authorised, any material on this website which may be construed as electoral material or an electoral matter under any State or Commonwealth Law is authorised by Pepe Clarke, on behalf of the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales Australia Inc.  Level 2, 5 Wilson Street, Newtown NSW 2042 Tel +61 2 9516 1488 Fax +61 2 8026 8301. Privacy

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