New Marine Park is no Sanctuary

Scientists have raised concerns that the proposed new South Coast Marine Park does not provide enough sanctuary zones. The park rivals Ningaloo and the Great Barrier Reef in size.

Stretching from Bremer Bay to the western boarder of South Australia, the existing proposal only allows for 25% of the are to be a protected sanctuary.30% is regarded as the minimum amount to achieve conservation.

The uneven distribution of the zones is also a concern. Most of the sanctuary sites are in unpopulated areas close to South Australia while areas near Esperance, where there is a greater human activity, have fewer sanctuary zones.

Moving boundary zones away from the coast to allow for commercial fishing has also been raised as a concern

protected areas are the backbone of ocean protection and recovery.”

Prof Jessica Meeuwig – University of Western Australia

Some of the marine life the park is aiming to protect includes threatened kelp reefs, southern right whales, grey nurse sharks and a range of fish found only in the region including the ruby seadragon and harlequin fish.

Source: WA Today 11 June 2024

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