Have your say on proposed marine park changes

A three-and-a-half month public consultation program into proposed changes to the Solitary Islands (northern NSW) and Jervis Bay (NSW South Coast) marine park zoning plans is underway.

The key proposed changes to the Solitary Islands marine park are:

• An increase of sanctuary zones from 12 to 20 per cent
• Habitat protection zones would decrease from 54 to 52 per cent
• General use zones would decrease from 34 to 28 per cent
• Special purpose zones will remain around 0.1 per cent of the park

Proposed changes reflect submissions from the community to the review process, such as fixing zoning to reduce the complexity of rounded boundaries, and improving access to key fishing spots near Bare Bluff, Groper Island and Minnie Water Back Beach.

Marine Parks Authority member and head of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Sally Barnes said around 75 per cent of the more than 1000 submissions to the zoning plan review requested that trawling be prohibited in the marine park as it is recognised as the most damaging of fishing activities.

Under the key proposed changes to the Jervis Bay Marine Park:

  • Sanctuary zones would remain at 20 per cent of the park
  • Habitat protection zones would increase from 72 to 74 per cent of the park
  • General use zones would decrease from 8 to 6 per cent of the park
  • Special purpose zones would remain at 0.2 per cent of the park

Proposed changes include improvements to boating access at Hare Bay, prohibiting trawling in the park, and restrictions on powered vessels at Honeymoon Bay and Hyams Beach.

According the Marine Parks Authority the consultation process will provide the public with the opportunity to see:

  • The full report and recommendations prepared by the Marine Parks Authority following the 18 month review process
  • The recommendations and proposed changes by the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment and the Minister for Primary Industry which are now on exhibition
  • Maps and other documentation outlining the proposed changes – including updated seabed habitat map

The MPA says the above information will be released for a three month public consultation period starting in June.

More information at: www.mpa.nsw.gov.au

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