Greens NSW MP and marine environment spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC has called on the premier Mike Baird to immediately revoke the amnesty on fishing in marine park sanctuary zones, saying that every day a decision is delayed further undermines the integrity of the marine parks and marine ecology more broadly.
Baird has previously reportedly stated that a decision on marine parks could be twelve to eighteen months away, and has expressed ‘a strong view on protecting our marine environment’ in a recent interview.
‘Every day that fishing is allowed in previously no-take sanctuary zones is another day of undermining the parks themselves as well as the broader marine ecology of New South Wales oceans,’ Dr Faruqi said.
‘Premier Baird has previously reportedly suggested that a decision on marine parks could come after the next election and categorised that as a win for the environment movement. But I fail to see how allowing fishing in sanctuary zones for the next year is a win when we know that the key part of a successful marine park is no-take zones.
‘We know that the amnesty was established by Barry O’Farrell as a result of pressure from the National Party and in a vain attempt to try and appease the Shooters and Fishers Party.
‘If we have learnt anything from these weeks of turmoil for the Liberal Party, it is that decision-making must be transparent and not influenced by murky political deals.
‘I call on the premier to take a different stand to Barry O’Farrell, a stand on the side of the environment and on the side of science.
‘A strong and expanded marine park system and uncompromised sanctuary zones are essential for conserving and enhancing biodiversity in the long-term and for future generations to enjoy.’