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Batemans Marine Park pilot takes flight

A new approach to managing NSW marine parks has begun with a pilot project underway in Batemans Marine Park.

A new management plan is being developed to replace existing arrangements in Batemans Marine Park and for the first time will take into account the environmental, social, cultural and economic values to be conserved by the marine park, as well as ways of addressing the threats to those values.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Marine Planning Coordinator, Matt Carr, said stakeholder and community engagement is an essential part of this pilot project.

“This pilot will capture important information on specific local issues to ensure they are addressed,” Mr Carr said.

“Information previously collected from the community will also inform the pilot, including the Marine Estate Community Survey and the Statewide Threat and Risk Assessment.”

Photo by: NSW Department of Primary Industries Justin Gilligan

“The first stage will review findings from the statewide Threat and Risk Assessment to identify values and threats that are specific to the Batemans Marine Park.”

The second stage will assess the adequacy of management actions and programs to meet the draft objectives for the park, considering costs, benefits and trade-offs that may be required.

Mr Carr said zoning arrangements within the marine park will be reviewed while developing the draft management plan to ensure they meet the draft management objectives.

“Zones can be used to conserve environmental values, manage conflicting uses and to enhance the benefits the community derives from the marine park but they need to be linked to the evidence,” Mr Carr said.

“Engagement with the community and key stakeholders will occur during July-September.

“This will involve workshops with the Batemans Marine Park Advisory Committee, State agencies and local government and Aboriginal community members in the region.”

Broader views will also be sought via a telephone survey of the local community and an online survey for key stakeholders and the general community.

Once this initial consultation is complete, a draft management plan will be released for public consultation for two months, where the community will have an opportunity to have their say.

For more information, visit www.marine.nsw.gov.au/key-initiatives/marine-park-management-pilots.

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