Federal Election 2019: Where the parties stand on marine parks, supertrawlers, overseas fleets and the Antarctic

Save Our Marine Life supporters around the country have been asking political parties for commitments to:

  • Improve Australia’s marine parks network to offer the real sanctuary protection that science says is needed and the Australian public has asked for
  • Permanently ban all supertrawlers from Australia’s vulnerable fisheries (the current sham ban only stops 6 boats longer than 130m)
  • Establish a Senate Inquiry into concerning moves to allow overseas fishing fleets into Australian waters
  • Support an East Antarctic Marine Park

Here’s what the major parties have said in response:


The Australian Labor Party has committed to:

  • Restore the marine parks in full. To return the marine parks will also involve a process to retain some minor improvements in the zoning in specific regions in the current plans.  This approach will be based on science. Labor will properly resource marine reserves and their management and have allocated an additional $42.2 million of funding. This is in addition to the currently budgeted $56 million, for marine reserves.
  • Permanently ban supertrawlers – factory freezer vessels – from Australia’s Small Pelagic Fishery.
  • Pursue a Senate Inquiry into concerning moves within the government to consider opening up Australia’s oceans to overseas fishing fleets.
  • Engage in CCAMLR to secure the East Antarctic Marine Park as a key priority working closely with its fellow MPA proponents, France and the European Union.


  • The Coalition committed $56.1 million over four years to 2O19-2O20 for marine park management, with additional ongoing funding of $5.3 million a year from 2O2O-21. This includes funding to: engage marine parks users in the management of marine parks, including through the establishment of Australian Marine Park Advisory Committees; deliver a compliance program to achieve high levels of awareness and compliance with the park rules set out in the management plans; and establish a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement framework to inform adaptive management of the parks.


The Australian Greens have committed to:

  • Immediately reinstate the original 2012 green zones in full; assign $247 million over four years for fisheries adjustment; and undertake a comprehensive review to advise on the creation of new or expanded marine parks that are truly comprehensive, and that take into account updated science, particularly related to climate change and fish stocks.
  • Permanently ban all supertrawlers from Commonwealth waters.
  • Initiate a Senate inquiry into overseas vessels fishing in Australian waters.
  • Continue to advocate for the establishment of an East Antarctic Marine Park.

Minor parties and independents have also been contacted to ensure they are aware of these issues and what Save Our Marine Life supporters are seeking.

We’ll never tell you who to vote for – we believe every side of politics should get behind protecting Australia’s incredible marine life and safeguarding our coastal communities. But we’ll always give credit where it’s due when a party shows their support, and this outlines the parties’ current policies.

Authorised by Adele Pedder, Unit 4, 145 Melbourne St, South Brisbane QLD 4101.

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