An iconic holiday destination in south-west Australia, Geographe Bay is also an important resting area for migrating humpback whales. Its seagrass beds and limestone reefs provide breeding and nursery grounds for many species, including the bottlenose dolphin and iconic dhufish (found only in WA).
But the protected zones that ensure Geographe Bay is safe from trawlers, gillnets and the risk of a devastating oil spill could all now be erased. Along with the Coral Sea, Geo Bay is top of the hit list for potential rollback as part of the Abbott Government’s Review of our national network of sanctuaries. And the Review Panel are arriving in town this week!
Let’s stand with the local Geo Bay community and help make their voice heard in this flawed review. Please send a message to save Geographe Bay today.
Any rollbacks would be devastating for the health of our marine life, and for the community whose economy, way of life and reputation are so linked to healthy oceans. The vast majority of Geo locals, including most fishers, know that sanctuaries make sense.
Paul Cross who’s run a local whale watching and fishing charter business for 20 years is one of many locals who’ll be speaking out in support for sanctuaries. He says:
‘It’s crucial we respect and look after our marine environment so we have fish for the future, for our kids and the next generations. Especially with 90% of the world’s big fish already gone! Both sustainable fisheries and sanctuaries play an important role. A classic example down here is the WA Dhufish – an icon for divers and fishermen. They’re slow growing, can live for up to 40 years and have been massively overfished. Sanctuaries are needed to protect those big, old females, essential as they’re the best breeders…
Tens of thousands of humpback whales pass through Geo Bay each year – a huge drawcard for our region that we must protect and respect … They’re phenomenal animals. They appear to be curious about us too, just as individual as you and I, which makes them really special.’
We’ve been blown away by the number of submissions sent into the review already and we know it’s having an impact. Now we need to get behind the local Geo Bay community, and ask the Review to RETAIN and INCREASE the protection in Geo Bay and around the country – for the locals AND for our marine life. Please send a message today.