Environment groups have called for 50 per cent of the [Solitary Islands/Jervis Bay] Marine Park protected in sanctuary zones, as the NSW Government prepares a once in a decade review the park zonings.
“Many people logically assume that Marine Parks have similar environmental protection to National Parks, but this is not the case. Only the Sanctuaries within a Marine Park offer similar protection to a National Park,” Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council said today.
“Marine sanctuaries are special areas within a Marine Park which are more similar to land based National Parks in that they protect all plants and animals from threats like fishing and mining,” local marine park supporter [Leif/Attilla] said.
“Non invasive activities like diving, swimming and boating are permitted in marine sanctuaries.
“The magnificent underwater world off the NSW coast is home to some weird and wonderful marine creatures that are suffering from overfishing, even within our Marine Parks.
“Unless there are some areas set aside for marine life to breed, feed and grow, we risk turning our oceans into an underwater desert.
“Sanctuary zones are the National Parks of the sea. They are a place where plants and animals can find safe haven from the fishing nets.
“Currently, sanctuary zones make up just [12/20] per cent of the [Solitary Islands/Jervis Bay] Marine Park. That still leaves almost [90/80] per cent of the park vulnerable.
“The ocean makes up 70 per cent of our planet and scientists recommend that up to half of all the world’s oceans should be protected in marine sanctuaries. Only 2.5 per cent of NSW waters are protected and less than 0.5 per cent of the oceans worldwide are protected.
“Sanctuary zones benefit the local economy by becoming tourist drawcards similar to National Parks, boosting tourism, increasing fish stocks and protecting the environment for future generations,” Ms Faehrmann said.