Marine sanctuaries under threat

The national network of marine sanctuaries is under threat if draft plans by National Parks are adopted, according to the Save Our Marine Life alliance (SOML).

National Parks are calling for feedback on draft plans for the management of 44 Australian marine parks.

‘Australia will become the first nation to cut protections of its ocean estate if it implements plans to expose vulnerable areas of the marine environment to industrial fishing exploitation,’ the SOML group said, responding to the plans.

Environment minister Josh Frydenberg released maps detailing planned cutbacks to protection of coral reefs and key feeding and breeding areas around Australia.

SOML alliance say that Queensland’s Coral Sea and sanctuary protections off the coast from Western Australia, the Northern Territory and NSW could be scrapped to make way for an expansion of damaging long-line fishing and seafloor trawling.

‘An election promise to be science-based has been ignored,’ continued SOML.

Director of National Parks Sally Barnes said she wants to hear from everyone.

‘This is your chance to influence how we’ll manage a large area of our marine environment. We want to hear from you, all of you,’ she said.


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