The science of marine sanctuaries

Science supporting the many benefits of marine sanctuaries has been established for many years. Overwhelmingly sanctuaries are now accepted around the world as an essential and proven part of good management of our marine environment. In these four downloadable PDF documents, Save Our Marine Life summarises the science supporting marine sanctuaries and Australia’s new network of marine parks. We also provide a recommended scientific reference list for further reading.

•Download our Marine sanctuaries fact sheet

•Download our Science of Australia’s new Marine Parks

• Download the Science of marine sanctuaries

• Download the Marine reserves: a scientific reference list

Making your support for marine protection heard


Letter to the editor

The tide has turned in favour of marine sanctuaries because the community overwhelmingly want a better future for our marine life. The creation of sanctuaries will be heavily influenced by how visible that support is, so please don’t keep your opinions to yourself. Let everyone know!

One of the best ways you can make your voice heard is to write a letter to the Editor of your newspaper. The ‘Letters to the Editor’ page is one of the most read pages in any newspaper and Members of Parliament use it to gauge public opinion on an issue. Its not a forum for hard facts of statistics (although if you have them that’s great) – its more about YOUR opinion and how you feel about an issue.

This downloadable PDF, with thanks to SOML group The Wilderness Society, gives you all you need to know including email addresses for your local paper.

Our marine life is too important for us to stay silent, so take 5 minutes out now to send your short letter to the Editor.


Save Our Marine Life Q & A:

The Save Our Marine Life campaign fields all sorts of questions ranging from who we are, through to what we’re trying to achieve. This downloadable PDF tackles the most common of these questions in the shortest possible way.

• Download answers to SOML’s most common questions

• Download our dedicated fact sheet on the impact of marine parks on Australia’s seafood and it’s prices.


The Government consultation behind Australia’s Marine Parks

The process to create Australia’s national network of marine parks started under the Howard Government in 1998. It has been an epic consultation process with 6 rounds of public consultation, more than 250 meetings and around 750,000 submissions made during the public consultation process which started in 2011 and ended in 2013.

• Download our briefing on the extent of consultation that went into creating our national network.


Your MP contact guide:


• Download the Guide to Leaving a Message with Your Local MP (119KB word doc version)
• Download the Guide to Leaving a Message with Your Local MP (139KB pdf version)


Welcome to the Big Blue Army


We need to build a real force for marine sanctuaries right around the country. The more people we have, the more marine life we’ll protect. Its as simple as that.

Grab these online resources and grow the Big Blue Army

Use this Facebook avatar for the next 3 months.



Download our Join buttonPlace this logo on your web site and link it to for the next 3 months.



Order a Save Our Marine Life bumper sticker for your car or bike

Thanks for your help. We can’t do it without you.


New research: marine sanctuaries popular with fishers


The most comprehensive research conducted to-date on public attitudes to marine sanctuaries has revealed that 72 % of Western Australians who regularly fish support the creation of marine sanctuaries off the cost to protect fish stocks and other marine life.

The state-wide research, commissioned by WA businessman Jock Clough and conducted by market research company Patterson Market Research (known for its monthly Westpoll in The West Australian newspaper) found that almost two-thirds of Western Australians support protecting at least 30% of the waters off the WA coast in marine sanctuaries.

This research sampled the opinions of 604 Western Australians from across Perth metropolitan area and also country WA in mid April in the lead up to announcements by both the State and Federal Governments on proposed new marine parks off WA’s coast. The summary and full report can be downloaded here

• Download the Research summary
• Download the Research full report


Leading scientists release blueprint to protect marine life


A new science-based blueprint developed for the country’s South West oceans has been released by world leading marine planning scientists from the University of Queensland.

Using the best available scientific data and applying world-leading scientific design principles, the team identified that 50 per cent of the south west region will need to be protected in a network of marine sanctuaries if marine life is to remain healthy. Currently, less than 1 per cent of the south west region is protected from threats such as over fishing and oil spills.

For copies of the full report Systematic Conservation Planning – A Network of Marine Sanctuaries for the South West Marine Region and its executive summary go to:

The full report can be downloaded here
The executive summary can be downloaded here


Is the End of the Line relevant to Australia?


The powerful new documentary, the End Of The Line (the End Of The Line) uses interviews with world leading scientists, activists and fishermen, brilliant underwater footage and sweeping cinematography to tell the story of the devastating impacts of over-fishing on our oceans and fishing communities.

But how is this UK-produced film relevant to Australia? Are there lessons that we can learn for how we manage our oceans?

Download this fact sheet from Save Our Marine Life and find out more.


Save Our Marine Life releases The Economics of Marine Protected Areas


Isn’t it great when something good for our marine life also makes economic sense as well?

A landmark study by the Allen Consulting Group released today has found that establishing large marine sanctuaries in Australia’s south west would lead to significant growth in tourism revenue, bringing a 20% boost so that $55 million was injected every year into the WA economy.

The Economics of Marine Protected Areas also found that marine sanctuaries would generate long term economic prosperity with a more diverse economy and healthier fish stocks outweighing the short term costs of establishing sanctuaries.

The Report’s release was supported by author Dr Martin Van Bueren and WA businessmen Mr John Poynton and Mr Jock Clough. They were also joined by Curtin University Sustainable Tourism researcher Dr Tod Jones.

“As this important report highlights, there are many economic benefits for WA that flow from protecting areas of our unique marine environment. I believe this report should now encourage the Federal and State governments to work together to create large new marine sanctuaries in the south west” said John Poynton at the launch.

The full report can be downloaded here


Save Our Marine Life Report


Click picture to download the report

Save Our Marine Life has launched a groundbreaking new report into the wonders of Australia’s south west marine environment.

Protecting Western Australia’s big blue backyard outlines the importance of creating a network of marine sanctuaries and is supported by stunning, award-winning marine photography.

Prepared for the Save Our Marine Life collaboration by the Australian Conservation Foundation, the report identifies a series of globally significant ‘hotspots’ for marine life in the waters off Australia’s south west.

These hotspots include the Perth Canyon (45 km west of Perth), one of only two known sites in Australian waters where the endangered blue whale comes to feed, and the Diamantina Fracture Zone, which is Australia’s largest underwater mountain range, submerged in its deepest stretch of water at 7400 metres and thought to host unique species not yet known to science.

The report also identified the importance of creating large marine sanctuaries to boost Western Australia’s $3 billion tourism industry and $45 million whale watching industry.

Download the report


Save Our Marine Life flyer


In this 4 page flyer, read about why Western Australia’s big blue backyard is so special.

Download the report pdf file [430 KB]