Marine Park Management Plans
The Commonwealth Director of National Parks has released draft plans to establish a world-class management program across 44 marine parks. Covering more than 3.3 million sqkm, an area bigger than the size of India, the draft plans are a vast improvement on those that were announced by the Gillard Government in 2012.
Building on the recommendations of an independent expert scientific panel that received more than 13,000 submissions, the draft plans reflect a balanced, evidence-based approach. The goal is to promote the highest standards of protection for our reefs, canyons and precious marine life, while also allowing for fishing, boating, diving, snorkelling and other related tourism activities where appropriate.
In 2012 Australia’s five million recreational fishers were locked out of 1.3 million sqkm of Commonwealth waters without scientific justification. Now recreational fishers will have access to 97 per cent of waters within 100km of the coast and 80 per cent of the marine park network overall — up from 64 per cent previously. This includes well-known recreational fishing sites, like Geographe Bay, Cape Leveque in the Kimberley and Cato, Wreck, Shark and Vema reefs in the Coral Sea.
Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth MP backs the rights of Australians to fish in local waters and supports the Coalition Governments commitment to put in place fair and balanced management arrangements for our marine parks.
“I love the environment and want to keep it protected. I support the rights of Australians to fish in local waters in years to come. The boundaries of Australian Marine Parks remain unchanged, but their management arrangements will allow for sustainable activities like fishing while protecting key conservation features”, said Luke Howarth MP.
With 36 percent of waters around Australia covered by marine parks, Australia has surpassed the United Nations target of 10 percent.
The Government has committed an additional $56.1 million over four years, from 2016 – 17, to strengthen the management of its marine parks and to ensure they are well managed and supported.