The NSW Government has today released its draft Management Plan for the NSW Mainland Marine Park Network (2021-2031), which has been developed to guide the management of the state’s five existing mainland marine parks.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said our marine parks are a precious and valuable asset that provide habitat for dozens of threatened and endangered species up and down the NSW coast.
“Marine parks are valued for their environmental, social and economic benefits – ranging from diving and recreational fishing to tourism and cultural use of Sea Country,” Mr Kean said.
“This draft plan strikes the right balance between conservation and recreation.”
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the draft would unlock more opportunities for all members of the community to engage in more low impact and low threat activities like recreational fishing while protecting the environmental values of our marine parks.
“The first step in improving the management of marine parks is to ensure we get the 10-year framework right and so this draft plan was informed by evidence on the community’s values of the park network and the threats posed to those values,” Mr Marshall said.
“The plan outlines management objectives and actions to ensure the community, including fishers and aquaculture operators, can get the best out of marine parks without being locked out.
“Up until now, marine parks have been managed by political decisions around lines on maps, but the draft plan is about making evidence-based decisions.
“This is certainly not about creating new marine parks, but rather making sure we get the settings right before looking at the rules of how they’re regulated.”
Mr Marshall said the draft plan will be out for a minimum of two months of community consultation. Following consultation on the draft management plan, we will consult the community separately on the rules and regulations.
“The community is now invited to have its say on the management of the state’s five mainland marine parks, which provide a range of biodiversity conservation, cultural, commercial and recreational benefits,” Mr Marshall said.
The five mainland marine parks in NSW include Cape Byron, Solitary Islands, Port Stephens-Great Lakes, Jervis Bay and Batemans marine parks. A management plan for Lord Howe Island Marine Park will be developed separately.
The draft plan does not include any specific proposals around changes to rules or zones. The detail of any proposed changes to rules or zones will be developed in stage 2 after the draft plan is finalised and will be subject to further community consultation.
For more information and to complete the survey visit www.marine.nsw.gov.au/yoursay. The plan will be open for consultation until 31 January 2022.