26 February 2014
Marine Parks with decent no-take zones are essential for healthy oceans and to ensure there is enough fish around for the next generation to enjoy, says the state's peak environment body, Conservation Council of SA.
"The science, and the real life experience around the world is clear: well managed, decent sized marine parks boost the number and size of fish and improve the health of our precious oceans for all to enjoy,” said Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.
“Essential, though, for their success are decent no-take zones, especially in areas where fish and other marine species spawn and breed.
“It’s in everyone’s interest, especially the many South Australians who love to fish and the next generation of commercial fishers, for vital breeding grounds to be protected,” he said.
According to a recent report by the Centre for Policy Development, European studies have shown that for each year a fully protected no-take zone is in place, the number and/or size of commercially targeted fish within the park, compared to nearby areas, increases by around 8%.
“After a decade of community consultation, a compromise on marine parks has been reached between those who want more protection, including many rec. fishers, and those who want less.
“Like any compromise, no one has got everything they wanted. However, the last thing we need is 10 years of hard work and community input thrown away in order to start again from the beginning.
“To the government’s credit, they have stuck with this process in the face of a lot of misinformation.
"We cannot continue to see every single inch of the ocean, including places where sea creatures congregate to breed and spawn, as something to exploit commercially. We have to make sure there is some around for the next generation.
“Marine parks work. They are the best way to ensure fish and other species are around for the future and they are strongly supported by the community, including many rec. fishers,” he said.
The Conservation Council is the state's peak environment body representing over 92,000 South Australians through 50 member groups.
For additional media information or to arrange an interview please contact Craig Wilkins on 0417 879 439