27.3 C
Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Marine sanctuaries ‘must be protected’

Latest News

Ballina Shire Council meeting wrap-up

The last Ballina meeting was another bruising encounter for some councillors, though there were several unanimous decisions too.

Other News

Ballina Shire Council meeting wrap-up

The last Ballina meeting was another bruising encounter for some councillors, though there were several unanimous decisions too.

Belongil beach hut

L S Lambert, Byron Bay The illegal building on Belongil Beach (Letters, 12 February) is a permanent structure with no...

Police looking for missing Pottsville woman

Police say they are seeking public assistance to locate a woman missing from Pottsville for almost a week.

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’.

Interview with James McMillan, founder of the Byron Surf Festival

With the Byron Bay Surf Festival just days away, founder James McMillan took a few minutes to talk to Seven about the awesome things planned for the coming weekend.

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.

The NSW government and local MP Don Page have failed to respond to calls from scientists to restore protections to marine sanctuary zones following advice that fishery resources were at risk of ‘significant degradation’.

Last month the Australian Marine Sciences Association (AMSA) wrote to the government urging it reinstate the restrictions to shore-based fishing in the sanctuaries, arguing it not only put fish stocks at risk but also prevented adequate scientific assessment of the zones as management tools.

Local conservationist Dailan Pugh has called on Ballina MP Don Page to intervene saying that while Cape Byron Marine Park represented only 5 per cent of the northern rivers coastline, it was crucial for scientists to assess the effectiveness of no fishing zones.

‘The NSW government stresses that “evidence based decision making” is critical in managing the marine estate. The scientific evidence is that protection should be restored to places such as the Belongil shorebird nesting and roosting area, the critical habitat for dolphins at Wategos and the unique snorkelling haven of The Moat,’ he said.

‘Don Page must heed the science and restore protection to our marine sanctuary zones.’

But Echonetdaily’s requests for comment from Mr Page have not received a response.

The AMSA, a professional society of over 1000 members nationwide from universities and government agencies ‘committed to understanding and protecting marine resources’, wrote to the primary industries minister Katrina Hodgkinson and environment minister Robyn Parker last month urging them to reconsider the amnesty on recreational fishing restrictions in sanctuary zones.

‘The government has chosen to lift current restrictions on recreational fishing without any evidence that the current management strategy is ineffective or that its removal will not have detrimental effects on the marine environment,’ AMSA NSW president Will Figueira said.

‘Furthermore, in allowing fishing from ocean beaches and headlands the government will prevent appropriate monitoring programs from being established which are required to provide the necessary data for making “evidence based decisions” on the efficacy of sanctuary zones as effective management tools in NSW.

‘The actions of the government in opening up these sanctuary zones to recreational fishing are at odds with the precautionary principle and place NSW fisheries resources at risk of significant degradation.’

Mr Pugh said the sanctuary zones within the Cape Byron Marine Park encompassed only 9.6km of the 200km of coast north from the Solitary Islands Marine Park to the Queensland border.

He said there were five key areas of coastal sanctuaries including Belongil, The Pass to Wategos, The Moat (Bream Hole) to Lennox Head, 3.6km of the beach adjacent to Tyagarah Nature Reserve and 1.8km incorporating Kings and Brays beaches and the intervening headland adjacent to the Broken Head Nature Reserve.



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

Storylines: Uluru Statement from the Heart

The 'Uluru Statement from the Heart' seeks constitutional reform to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a say and be involved over matters that impact their lives.

‘Groundhog Day’ shifts Splendour to November

Splendour in the Grass 2021 organisers say that Groundhog Day jokes aside, the festival will be rescheduled for a late spring edition, from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November.

Lennox Rise development clears another hurdle

The massive new residential development planned west of Epiq in Lennox Head continued its progress towards becoming reality at the last Ballina Shire Council meeting.

So you think you’d like to run for Council?

Residents considering running for Tweed Council can attend briefing sessions to find out about being a councillor ahead of local government elections.