The New South Wales Government is seeking community feedback on rezoning two small parts of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park.
The draft regulations will allow shore-based line fishing from 10 beaches or headlands, currently included in Marine Parks along the state’s coast.
The government says it is about striking a balance between environmental protection and low-impact recreational fishing.
The Nature Conservation Council’s Daisy Barham said it is disappointing the government is looking to roll back protection for local species.
“Around the Port Stephens area, what that means is, two areas which were protected in marine sanctuary zones will have their level of protection reduced,” she said.
“That’s not a good thing for our marine life, and we’re certainly encouraging the government to restore protection to all of these 10 places across the state.”
Ms Barham said she is surprised by the proposal, because the Baird government is usually so supportive of marine protection.
“Common sense, as well as science from across New South Wales, show that marine sanctuaries are absolutely vital for protecting our marine life,” she said.
“It simply doesn’t make sense for the Baird government to be winding back protection, and that’s why it’s really important that the community does have a say in this decision.”