Anti-fishing groups push for further Sydney lock-outs

ANTI-fishing environmental groups have vowed to lobby Government into increasing the number of lock-out Sanctuary Zones within the recently announced Sydney Marine Park.


In an interview with ABC radio’s Wendy Harmer, spokesperson for the Nature Conservation Council and Australian Marine Conservation Society, Daisy Barham, said “Special Purpose” zoned areas such as Long Reef and Five Islands needed extra protection.


“We’ll be encouraging the Government to increase the protections for those areas. Special Purpose zones simply won’t cut it. They won’t have the impact on biodiversity that we need for these areas to recover. The science is clear on that, so we will be pushing the Government to go better on those sites,” said Barham.


“It’s not a perfect world’s best marine park, but it’s a really important step,” Barham told ABC Breakfast listeners.


“This does fall short of what the science is calling for. That said, it is a really important first step, and we know we should get these Sanctuary Zones in on the water as well as look at other areas the Government has missed so far.


“Let’s get these areas out on the water taking effect, then over time we can add to them,” she said.


Echoing these sentiments, Greens MP Justin Field told the Sydney Morning Herald the area of sanctuary protection falls well short of other marine parks in NSW at just 2.4 per cent of the region.


“But hopefully this represents a first step toward protecting marine life and coastal environments,” said Fields.


Fields is also pushing for similar restrictions for other NSW Marine Parks.


“The NSW government is also currently reviewing marine parks and sanctuary areas at Solitary Island and Batemans Bay, and they should similarly maintain or increase protection at these sites,” he said.

Anti-fishing groups are calling on Special Purpose zones such as Long Reef to be declared Sanctaury Zones.

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