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Batemans Sanctuaries need full protection

Save Batemans Sanctuaries say "We need your help to stop illegal fishing in Batemans marine sanctuaries".

The group have posted on their website: "In December 2019, Minister Adam Marshall and Minister Andrew Constance announced that the NSW government would turn a blind eye to illegal fishing in six marine sanctuaries in the Batemans Marine Park.

"Most of the affected sanctuaries are in estuaries that protect important habitat for juvenile fish to grow to adulthood – our local fishers depend on these sanctuaries to provide great fishing across the rest of the park.

"Two other sanctuaries are next to our very special Montague Island – an important haul-out site for Australian Fur Seals, and home to a colony of Little Penguins.

"Removing sanctuary protection has subjected these beautiful animals to increased risk of injury from vessel strike or entanglement – especially if the current situation remains in place over summer, when thousands of visitors make their way here.

"Most NSW recreational fishers care deeply for the future of our oceans, and expect their peers to do the right thing. By turning a blind eye to regulations that protect important habitats and feeding grounds, the government is risking the fish of the future.

"With summer ahead, we are all hoping for a safe summer. It’s time to reinstate full protection and give our wildlife the safe summer they deserve.

"Send a message to Minister Constance and Minister Marshall to tell them enough is enough – restore protection for our ocean wildlife."

PADDLE OUT Sat 21 NOV 11am gathering. The group says:

"Here's a map showing where we will be meeting on the day. It will be a Covid safe event so we will need sign in details etc. We would also ask people to confirm they are coming on the FB event on our FB page if they can. We will post more info as the time approaches regarding public speakers & activity but it will likely be moving everyone into the water at a set time and creating a nice (covid safe!) circle. "People with boards / SUPs may want to sign in at the tables first then go back and get gear before heading to the beach. It would be great for people to paint and bring signs of support and even wear costumes or bright colours at least! Please bring your own water & refreshments !! "There will be photographers and a drone gathering images on the day. "Many thanks in advance for your support!! "For keen surfers wanting bigger waves after the event you can walk back through the carpark to an ocean beach on the north side of the carpark. Bar Beach is known as a safe beach and there shouldn't be too many waves. We will have surf life savers on hand just in case! Thanks again!"