Have your say on the Buccaneer Archipelago marine parks

Image: Jade O’Donovan

RECFISHWEST is encouraging fishers to have their say on the proposed Buccaneer Archipelago marine parks before the public comment period ends, after the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) recently extended the deadline to 11 June to allow more time for the preparation of submissions.

To assist fishers develop their submission, Recfishwest says it has produced two easy-to-follow sets of guidelines – one providing general hints and tips around making your submission count and the other a step-by-step guide for those who want to make their submissions through DBCA’s online survey.

In December 2020, WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson announced plans for three new marine parks in the Buccaneer Archipelago in the West Kimberley.

The proposed marine parks have been co-designed by DBCA and the Traditional Owners of the Bardi, Jawi, Mayala and Dambimangari sea country.

Under the proposals, the marine parks once finalised and implemented will be jointly managed by DBCA and the Traditional Owners.

The public comment process provides all stakeholders, including recreational fishers, the opportunity to have their say and input into the final format the marine parks will take.

“From the feedback we’ve received, we understand the submission process can appear a little daunting and complicated,” Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said.

“But it’s really important that recfishers get their views heard to ensure we can get the best outcome possible for all of the community in the final designs of the marine parks.

“From all of our discussions with the Traditional Owners and DBCA so far, it does not appear the proposed marine parks are a ‘done deal’ as many might have feared.

“The Traditional Owners have said they are very keen to understand where and what is important to local rec-fishers in the Archipelago, so those interests can be taken into account.

“DBCA have now extended out the original public comment period from 31 May to 11 June to allow more time for people to put their submissions together – which is also a welcome development.

“We, therefore, strongly encourage rec-fishers who visit the Buccaneer to make a submission.

For more information: recfishwest.org.au

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