23.8 C
Byron Shire
February 27, 2024

Tweed and Byron coasts miss out on marine parks

Latest News

The zucchini omelette returns!

Victoria Cosford After a near 12-month absence, brother and sister team Rob and Michelle Costanzo from Nomadic Kitchen are coming...

Other News

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Growing Mould Together

I love the smell of mould in the morning. Actually I don’t. It drives me nuts. Some days I’m obsessed that it’s all I can smell. It’s the smell of living in the Northern Rivers. The humidity and rain of our summer has created the perfect conditions for mould. Mould on shoes. Mould in my bread bin. Mould in the dark of my cupboards. Mould in the cracks in my bathroom. Mould behind the sink. Mould in me

Bangalow rezoning proposal includes first affordable housing lot for Council 

A scheme created by Byron Council in a bid to generate more affordable housing in the shire looks set to get its first workout when a housing project comes before this week’s Council meeting.

Cartoon of the week – 21 February, 2024

Send to Letters Editor Aslan Shand, email: [email protected], fax: 6684 1719 or mail to The Letters Editor, The Echo, 6 Village Way, Mullumbimby, 2482, NSW, Australia.

MIA: Balson on Wallum

Dear Cr Balson, I understand that you attended the Byron Council meeting last Thursday very briefly, but absented yourself from...

Sleepbus service opens in Ballina

Sleepbus, the innovative solution for rough sleepers, has opened in Ballina after relocating from Byron Bay.

Lorikeets on the mend as paralysis season eases

A poorly-understood phenomenon where lorikeets in the region becoming paralysed and unable to fly is thankfully coming to an end for 2024, says WIRES wildlife vet, Dr Tania Bishop.

The federal government’s release of draft marine reserves in the Commonwealth waters far off the NSW coast is seen as a missed opportunity to establish much-needed protection for marine life by leading environment groups.

Nicola Bowskill from The Wilderness Society said, ‘We are calling for the establishment of a network of marine sanctuaries that meet international scientific benchmarks for protection. Unfortunately, this was not achieved in the current draft.’

Local conservationists are equally shocked that the federal government has failed to identify a Commonwealth marine park off the Byron and Tweed coasts given that last year they identified this as an area for further assessment to identify a location for a marine park.

On Friday the Commonwealth released its proposed marine reserves network for our 1,470,000 sq km Temperate East Marine Region, stretching from north of Fraser Island down to near the Victorian border and off the coast to include Australia’s 200km exclusive economic zone, including around Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands.

Byron-based conservationist and marine artist Dailan Pugh said that conservationists had expected a Commonwealth addition to the (state-based) Cape Byron Marine Park that would have turned it into a truly world-class marine park, stating ‘instead we got nothing’.

‘The Commonwealth has not only let down this region, but all Australians, with its proposal that a measly 4.3 per cent of the Temperate East Marine Region be included in Marine National Park zones and excluded from fishing.

‘The Commonwealth has totally abandoned any pretence of scientific or conservation credibility. They have refused to create any substantial Marine National Park zones on or near the continental shelf off the NSW coast.

‘For the past 15 years there have been increasing calls from scientists around the world to exclude fishing from 20 to 30 per cent of our seas and oceans.

‘In 2010 the Commonwealth identified six areas for further assessment in the Temperate East Marine Region, including the Tweed, an area greater than 3,000 square kilometres adjacent to Cape Byron Marine Park. It extended from Tweed Heads south to adjoin the Cape Byron Marine Park, from 5km off shore out for 90km to past the edge of the continental shelf and 4,000 metres depth.

‘The Tweed Area for Further Assessment included the massive Tweed Canyon and the stunning offshore reefs of Windarra Banks and Nine Mile with their corals, huge cod, giant rays, and massive schools of fish and sharks, including the endangered Grey Nurse Shark.

‘The Tweed is an area of exceptional biodiversity value due to the overlap of temperate and tropical species and large number of endemic species. It is an area required for inclusion to establish a truly national marine reserve system,’ Mr Pugh said.

In 2003 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature called for 20–30 per cent of the marine environment to be included in fully protected areas by 2012. In 2009 the Australian Marine Sciences Association identified the need to fully protect at least 10 per cent by 2012, and to aim for the 33 per cent as in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The total area proposed for inclusion (or already included) in Marine Reserves in the Temperate East Marine Region is 371,114 km2 (25.3 per cent) but these are of a lesser value than Marine National Parks.

Two-thirds of this is multiple use or general use and thus provides minimal protection and allows commercial and recreation fishing – and even mining. Only Marine National Parks prohibit fishing entirely.

Multiple-use zones use exclude a few types of fishing, such as certain types of net fishing and trawling, but most types of activities are allowed. General-use zones make up the largest part by far and there is effectively no difference between them and any other type of sea.

Only 17 per cent of these new reserves (or 4.3 per cent of the total) is intended to actually exclude fishing.

Public consultations have been proposed during the public consultation period in a number of areas; however, none are proposed for the Tweed-Byron region.

The draft is open for comment and concerned readers are encouraged to do so at http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/mbp/temperate-east/consultation/index.html#networkproposal (you will need to scroll to the bottom of the page).

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bypass the supermarket duopoly

With more and more people feeling the pressures of Australia’s cost-of-living crisis and the government launching investigations into supermarket prices, there has never been...

Byron Bay local is 2024 Glover Prize Finalist

Local watercolourist Dave Sparkes has been selected as a finalist in the 2024 John Glover Prize, Australia’s prestigious landscape award.

Time to go? The costly impact of climate change on the housing hip pocket

Jennifer Woods had lived in Wagga Wagga her whole life, a single parent of four children, a social worker and no stranger to what life on a floodplain might throw the way of anyone living there: the town has learnt to cope with floods – 60 have been registered since Federation.

More than 80 new Tweed Hospital jobs

The Northern NSW Local Health District is advertising more than 80 full time equivalent roles at the new Tweed Valley Hospital, due to open in mid-May.