On World Oceans Day, the National Parks Association of NSW and Nature Conservation Council of NSW are calling for greater protection of the unique marine life of Sydney’s harbour and oceans through the creation of a Sydney Marine Park. This would be the world’s only marine park based around a major city.
The Sydney Marine Park would provide stronger conservation for marine life, while still allowing Sydneysiders to continue enjoying their internationally renowned beaches and harbours.
“Beneath our bustling city lies an even busier underwater world. More than 580 species of fish have been identified in Sydney Harbour alone, compared with only 350 in Europe and about 200 round the coast of New Zealand,” said NPA Marine Program Manager Nicky Hammond.
“The Sydney Marine Park would give international recognition to Sydney as not just a historical and cultural city but also as an environmental leader.
“A recent survey of Sydney residents found that 89 per cent of Sydneysiders support the protection of the marine environment, even if it meant some fishing closures. It’s clear the Sydney population have the foresight to recognise that better management means healthier oceans for the future,” she said.
“The diversity of marine life beneath Sydney Harbour is just as iconic as the Opera House and Bridge above it,” said Nature Conservation Council, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Haydn Washington.
“Creating marine parks does not end recreational fishing rights, it allows a better balance of management for conservation, recreation and fishing.
“On World Oceans Day, we’re asking the NSW government to take urgent action and establish a Sydney Marine Park to protect the much-loved marine creatures in Sydney Harbour and off our coast,” he said.