23 C
Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Marine park audits welcomed

Latest News

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

Other News

Interview with Michael Balson, creator of Ocean to Sky

Local filmmaker helps tell the story of Edmund Hillary’s last adventure, in the film, Ocean to Sky

PM’s vaccine

Martin Bail, Federal On 4 February, 2021 ABC News reported, albeit briefly, that the PM will ‘for the record’ be...

Music fest aims to be COVID-19 recovery event

Byron Bay could host a two-day, beachside music and arts festival in June this year, after an application to hold the event was lodged with Byron Council.

Editorial – Ewingsdale development creep rejected by residents

A petition of 294 signatures against rezoning Ewingsdale farmland to commercial use will be presented to councillors for their upcoming Thursday meeting.

Constitutional referendum/poll for LG elections for Byron Shire?

Is the wards fight back again? Byron Shire Council staff have advised, in the upcoming agenda, that ‘Council may conduct a Constitutional referendum or poll in conjunction with the Local Government Election, to be held in September 2021’.

Ready for Byron’s latest massive development on Jonson St?

The changing face of Byron as Gold Coast and Sydney developers move in to recreate the look and feel of the town with intense development proposals.

Conservationists yesterday cautiously welcomed the release of the NSW government’s Report of the Independent Scientific Audit of Marine Parks in New South Wales.

The audit recommends that NSW’s current system of marine parks be maintained and that mechanisms be found for filling the identified reserve gaps off Sydney and the far south coast.

The audit was an election platform of the incoming state government but the Greens last week accused the government of stalling on tabling it.

Greens MP and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann said yesterday, ‘Now that [the government’s] long-awaited report is telling them the “inconvenient truth” that the science behind marine parks is justified we see more stalling tactics’.

‘To now put this report out to another public consultation until June is a disgraceful move by the government and designed to delay the inevitable – the lifting of the moratorium on marine parks.’

North coast conservationist Dailan Pugh welcomed the audit’s strong endorsement of NSW’s existing marine parks and the need for fully protected sanctuary zones.

‘Hopefully this latest audit will signal an end to efforts to wind back marine conservation in NSW and lead to a more scientific and systematic approach to identifying the areas we need to fully protect in the interests of biodiversity and all the people of NSW.’

These views were echoed by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

‘The audit report lays to rest claims that marine parks and sanctuaries are “voodoo science” by recognising that a “very significant body of research, both international and national, supports an increase in size and abundance of most marine species following the cessation of fishing”,’ chief executive officer Pepe Clarke said.

The audit’s primary recommendation is that the marine environment be managed by a coastal and marine management authority as a continuous whole, and appropriately zoned from strict protection to sustainable use. This is proposed to be overseen by an independent scientific committee.

‘The advantage of this is that it would effectively mean turning all of NSW’s waters into one big marine park and would allow for better placement of sanctuary zones and regulation of uses. Scientific oversight is long overdue,’ said Mr Pugh.

‘Climate change and overfishing are identified as the major threats to the marine environment and fully protected sanctuary zones are strongly endorsed as effective responses. Though the audit considers that the primary importance of sanctuary zones is for the preservation of habitats free from extractive human impacts for biodiversity conservation.

‘Land-based pollution is considered to be primarily a threat to estuaries. The audit‘s recommendation that the proposed coastal and marine management authority be given a concurrent role in proposed developments and works upstream from a marine park is welcomed.

‘The audit identifies the need to better understand the social and economic benefits and costs of marine parks and to take this into account in zoning in a meaningful and scientifically robust manner. If implemented this will be a significant improvement on the ad-hoc manner in which unsubstantiated economic claims are regularly used to override and limit conservation outcomes,’ Mr Pugh said.

The audit report is at: http://www.marineparksaudit.nsw.gov.au/audit-report/.


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our privileged, western, simplistic understanding of...

Letting go

Mary McMorrow, Mullumbimby I respect the parents forgiving the drunk driver who killed their four children (one a cousin) as their way of dealing with...

Ministers misbehave

Keith Duncan, Pimlico Accusations of appalling behaviour by the Liberal Party in covering up misdeeds within its ranks just keep on keeping on. The last...

Transparency needed

Janelle Saffin MP, State Member for Lismore. I read with interest Mia Armitage’s front page article in last week’s Echo ‘Electorates miss out on bushfire...