Have your say on proposed marine park rezoning

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair and Minister for the Environment Mark Speakman today announced that community consultation will begin to determine final arrangements for the ocean beaches and headlands sites where an amnesty on recreational line fishing is currently in place.

Mulloway on Pimpernel Rock NSW

Draft regulations have been prepared following the Government’s decision last year to retain an amnesty allowing shore-based recreational line fishing at 10 sites while enforcing sanctuary zone rules at 20 sites.

Mr Blair said the draft regulations were informed by the independent scientific advice of the Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel.“The Panel determined that recreational shore-based line fishing can be a low–risk activity and it’s great to see the draft regulations will allow recreational fishing in rezoned areas,” Mr Blair said.

“This Government remains committed to the ongoing protection of our State’s unique marine resources and these draft regulations are in-line with our new approach to management of the marine estate in NSW."

Mr Speakman said that “The proposed changes will affect the Cape Byron, Solitary Islands, Port Stephens-Great Lakes and Batemans Marine Parks; all sanctuary zones in the Jervis Bay Marine Park will continue”.

“The proposed changes are for 10 sanctuary zone sites to be rezoned to habitat protection, which makes shore-based recreational line fishing lawful at these sites. However, in each marine park in which such fishing will be allowed at some sites, there are other multiple sites at which fishing is permanently prohibited.”

“This outcome strikes a balance between ensuring appropriate environmental protection and enabling low-impact recreational fishing.”

Community members are encouraged to comment on the draft regulations before submissions close on 13 November 2015.

Copies of the draft regulations and a discussion paper are now available at www.marine.nsw.gov.au.

Submissions can be made via an online survey or by email to: contact.us@marine.nsw.gov.au or in writing to C/- Marine Environment, Locked Bay 1, Nelson Bay NSW 2315, marked “Ocean Beaches and Headlands – Draft Regulations”.