The Nature Conservation Council of NSW calls on the state government to demonstrate its commitment to marine conservation by lifting the moratorium on new marine parks, and implementing a marine
conservation strategy based on science, not politics.
The Independent Scientific Audit Report into Marine Parks in NSW, released today, reaffirms the crucial
role that marine parks and sanctuaries play in protecting the unique marine life of NSW.
“The audit report lays to rest claims that marine parks and sanctuaries are ‘voodoo science’ by recognising that a ‘very significant body of research, both international and national, supports an increase in size and abundance of most marine species following the cessation of fishing’,” Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said today.
“Not only does the report find that our current system of marine parks should be maintained, it also
recommends increased protection for marine life in two regions that currently contain no marine parks –
the Hawkesbury (Newcastle to Wollongong) and Twofold Shelf (Far South Coast) marine bioregions.
“The audit panel recognises that frequent changes in marine park boundaries and zoning can undermine
conservation outcomes, finding that a ‘moving system of parks is … likely to undo decades worth of
“We welcome the report’s recognition of the destructive impacts of commercial trawling, and support the
audit panel’s call for further research into recreational fishing catches, currently estimated at 30 per cent of commercial catch in NSW.
“The audit report highlights opportunities for improving the health of coastal and estuarine habitats, by
better managing coastal land use and reducing land based pollution.
“The NSW Government must ensure that decisions about management of our marine environment are
based on the best available science, not politics, and work to build common ground on the benefits of
protecting and restoring our remarkable marine and coastal environments,” Mr Clarke said.