When is a Marine Park not a Marine Sanctuary? When fishing is allowed in it! 20 of our 30 Marine Sanctuaries enjoy full protection, but 10 are still open to fishing – hardly a Marine Sanctuary.
Less than 7% of the state’s waters are protected in marine sanctuaries. Any reduction will undermine the health of the marine environment in the face of extreme weather events, a warming ocean, over-fishing and pollution. Sanctuaries are essential to protecting marine life.
Marine sanctuaries are a win+win+win situation: the marine environment gains much needed protection + divers get more great places to dive in natural marine environments + these sanctuary zones provide the nurseries that provide the fish stocks for adjacent fishing areas.
We know the public is on our side and that 9 out of 10 people in NSW, including recreational fishers, support marine sanctuaries.
Four years ago we had 30 marine sanctuaries, then they all got ‘wound back’. For two years people campaigned to restore full protection to 30 marine sanctuaries across NSW and protect critical habitat for our precious marine life.
In 2014 hundreds of people across the state funded a giant billboard in the Premier’s seat of Manly calling on our sanctuaries to be protected. They won back protections for 20 important sites but the fate of 10 still remains uncertain and under threat.
Over the last two weeks hundreds of locals in Manly have been turning up the pressure on Mike Baird and showing him that the support for sanctuaries all over NSW is strong. On Sunday a large group of people, supported by Surfrider Foundation made a giant love heart in the ocean off Manly’s Shelly Beach for Valentine’s Day.
The next action is the fund another giant billboard – well it worked last time – to show the Premier that we won’t give up until our sanctuaries are restored.