Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation supports global effort for a sustainable ocean economy

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has celebrated the nation’s efforts in ocean sustainability, saying that Australia has performed “well above global targets” by declaring one-third of its national waters as marine parks.

Morrison used the example during his opening remarks at the launch of the Federal Government’s “Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: a vision for Protection, Production and Prosperity.”

Speaking at the high-level expert Ocean Panel webinar, Morrison said oceans support 400,000 Australian jobs and that by 2025 he expects ocean industries to contribute 100-billion dollars every year towards the nation.

“We’ve made big investments to protect our coral reefs, we’re banning the export of plastic waste, we’ve declared one-third of our national waters as marine parks – well above global targets.

“Although we benefit from our oceans, we understand we have a greater responsibility to it as well. Right now the ocean is under pressure – habitat loss, plastic, pollution, overfishing and of course climate change – putting at risk so much,” Morrison said.

ARFF spokesperson John Burgess applauded Prime Minister Morrison’s comments and said his acknowledgment that Australia is outperforming other nations on a global scale in its commitment to marine parks and ocean protection, will go a long way towards securing the future of Australian recreational fishing and marine estate.

“It sends a reassuring message to all Australians, especially our recreational fishing community that we’ve got the balance right between marine park reserves and areas where every Australian can throw in a line.

“We estimate 3.5 million Australians go recreational fishing each year and our economic contribution is in the billions of dollars, helping to support tens of thousands of jobs.

“We are entering an exciting new phase in our sector, a period where recreational fishers will have more opportunities than ever before to get involved in areas such as stewardship, co-management, habitat restoration and citizen science,” Mr Burgess said.

Australia is one of 14 nations who helped establish the Ocean Panel in 2018; the only ocean policy body made up of world leaders and aims to build momentum towards a sustainable ocean economy.

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