As the NSW government considers marine management reforms, this report finds that marine parks already provide significant economic benefits, but it is too early to judge their environmental effectiveness.
This short paper presents compelling evidence that:
- NSW marine parks are already delivering clear and demonstrable economic benefits for local communities and businesses.
- The protected areas must be allowed to exist for a minimum of 15 years before they can be judged as to their effectiveness.
- Community support for marine parks and the sanctuary zones within them, is very high around the more established reserves.
NSW marine parks are all relatively young. The oldest NSW marine parks are barely 11 years old and the youngest only six. In ecological terms, these parks are still in their infancy.