The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) supports the World Oceans Day global vision for 30% of our oceans to be safeguarded through a network of highly protected areas by 2030. For the good of communities, healthy fisheries and marine wildlife that depend on our oceans, we encourage all governments to strive for this international target.
In its 55 year history, the AMCS has campaigned for better protections in Australian waters and we are proud the nation boasts the largest network of multiple-use marine parks in the world where fishing, tourism and marine wildlife co-exist. Within that network, around 10% of Australia’s oceans are fully protected in sanctuaries where no fishing or mining is allowed.
AMCS marine parks campaigner Katie Walters said: “Australia’s marine parks are wonderful places to visit, to fish and connect with all that our coasts and oceans have to offer.
“But increasing pressures from overfishing, global warming, pollution, offshore mining and industrialisation mean our oceans need greater protection to help pressured species and environments recover and thrive.
“Sanctuaries are investments in the health of our oceans. Marine sanctuaries, like national parks on land, provide a refuge for our native wildlife and strengthen the health of the entire marine system. Australia’s healthy oceans provide real and tangible benefits to community health, livelihoods, and lifestyles.”
Ms Walters said the benefits of sanctuaries flowed on for tourism, commercial and recreational fishers.
“Research has shown that Australian recreational fishers strongly support sanctuaries once they have been established. World class recreational fishing and science-based sanctuary protection go hand in hand in places like the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef. These are marine parks that already meet the 30×30 vision, and they are internationally renowned fishing destinations,” she said.
“Almost a third of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is protected in sanctuaries and research has shown that these areas recover quicker from disturbances like coral bleaching. It’s proven that fish in the sanctuaries there are supporting fish populations outside the sanctuaries.
“From coast to coast there are many marine sanctuary success stories to be found around Australia to be celebrated this World Oceans Day.”
More information about World Oceans Day and the 30×30 vision is available from its website.