South Coast Marine Park survey launched to understand community water use

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Environment Minister Reece Whitby.
Camera IconEnvironment Minister Reece Whitby. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/Perth Now

The State Government has launched an online survey to understand how the community uses the ocean along the south coast to guide the final design of a new WA marine park.

The proposed South Coast Marine Park will extend east from Bremer Bay to the WA border and offshore to the limit of State waters.

The park aims to protect marine biodiversity and cultural heritage, while allowing for commercial and recreational fishing in a bid to ensure sustainability of the waters for years to come.

The South Coast Marine Values Mapper — launched on Monday — was developed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, social researchers at the University of WA and the Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation.

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The online survey is set to capture community feedback to inform the design, planning and future management of the proposed park, including marine zoning.

Community consultation has been ongoing since September, but has been met with concern from the commercial fishing industry which fears it could result in no fishing zones.

However, the exact location and boundary of the park is yet to be determined.

Environment Minister Reece Whitby said understanding how people used the coast was critical to designing marine parks.

“It’s easy to register all types of engagement within this beautiful coastal environment, whether it’s going swimming at your favourite beach, bird watching, sailing around picturesque islands or going fishing,” he said.

Access the survey here.

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