Community to have their say as South Coast marine park consultation begins
South coast locals can have their say on the development of a new marine park extending east from Bremer Bay to the WA border aiming to ensure sustainable use of the waters for years to come.
Consultation has begun on the development of the marine park extending offshore to the limit of WA waters, aiming to protect the region’s marine biodiversity and cultural heritage while allowing commercial and recreational activities to continue sustainably.
The Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park is the only small marine park on WA’s south coast but does not extend into coastal waters.
The proposed multiple-use marine park is part of the State Government’s Plan for Our Parks initiative, set to allow for a range of commercial and recreational activities, including fishing, to continue in appropriate zones while protecting the area.
The fishing and aquaculture sectors, environmental groups, local governments, traditional owners and tourism operators are among the groups to be targeted throughout the planning process expected to be finished by February 2024.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions aims to work with traditional owners during the planning process with the marine park to be jointly managed once it is established.
Expressions of interests to join a Community Reference Committee will soon open with the committee to be chaired by former emergency services minister Fran Logan.
Fisheries Minister Don Punch said the creation of a south coast marine park was crucial for the conservation of WA’s aquatic environment.
“Only by supporting the coexistence of valuable commercial fisheries with protected marine ecosystems can we ensure the long-term sustainability of both recreational and commercial fishing experiences into the future,” he said.
“Genuine engagement with our aquaculture, commercial, recreational and charter fishing sectors is planned through an extensive engagement process, and the State Government is committed to undertaking meaningful consultation with traditional owners, the fishing sectors and other stakeholders.”
Consultation sessions will be held in Albany and Bremer Bay next month.
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