Marine sanctuaries are our ocean’s National Parks. Protecting known biodiversity hotspots from activities such as mining and overfishing, sanctuaries play a critical role to protect threatened species, restore fish stocks and safeguard our climate while also providing special places for snorkelling and swimming.
Scientists, conservationists, ocean-users and most recreational fishers all agree: protected sanctuary zones are a necessary part of keeping our oceans healthy and ensuring great fishing in the future.
But as part of the former Liberal-National government’s relentless attempts to wind back protection for our precious oceans it turned a blind eye to fishing in sanctuary zones from Batemans Bay to Cape Byron Marine Park.
For years, recreational fishing has been allowed in sensitive marine areas that are important habitat for juvenile fish to grow, including in two sanctuaries near Montague Island home to fur seals, a colony of little penguins and the critically endangered grey nurse shark.
Labor has previously promised to restore our sanctuaries - now we must hold them to their commitments to our ocean.