Updated: July 16, 2010
What is real marine protection?
Marine Sanctuaries or 'no-take' areas are the only form of non-extractive or real protection in marine parks, marine reserves & marine protected areas.
The Wilderness Society's marine campaigns
The Wilderness Society (TWS) has long campaigned for marine protection in Australian waters. We are currently running active marine campaigns in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and The Northern Territory - where less than 1% of the commonwealth waters are protected. We are aiming to secure large networks of marine sanctuaries, to create "seascape" wide conservation – a marine equivalent to TWS’s WildCountry "whole of landscape" conservation approach. So our unique and pristine marine life can be protected for what the future holds...
With technology advancing we can now discover the what lies beneath... check out this fly through footage of Australia's coast from under the sea.
Real protection or pretend parks?
Marine parks in both State and Commonwealth waters will be "multiple use". This means large parts of the parks will remain open to extractive activities such as aquaculture, commercial fishing and mining exploration. The commonwealth government bioregional planning process is expected to deliver a network of marine protected around Australia by 2012.
Only within sanctuary zones will activities which harm or remove marine plants and animals be totally prohibited. Neither Government has yet made any committments about how big sanctuaries within the new marine parks will be. The Wilderness Society is working closely with other international, national and local conservation groups to ensure both initiatives deliver real and effective protection for our coasts and oceans, not pretend parks with insignificant sanctuary zones.
What are sanctuary zones and why do we need them?
Sanctuary zones are also known as marine reserves, marine national parks, fully protected areas and no-take zones. They are similar to national parks on land - their purpose is not to exclude people but to provide marine life with a much needed refuge from harm.
The world's oceans are under huge and increasing pressure from overfishing, pollution, mining, invasive species, coastal development and climate change. Networks of large sanctuaries which protect important habitats (such as the breeding and feeding areas of unique, threatened and commercially fished species) are the best way to conserve our spectacular marine ecosystems for the future.
Research from marine parks around the world shows that when density, biomass, size of organisms, and diversity are tested- there are significant increases in all of those values within marine sanctuaries.
Take Action - 4 ways you can help during oceans '11.
Do you want our coasts and oceans protected for future generations? Right now, the Australian Governments are deciding the fate of our unique marine life. Do your bit and join us in calling for a network of large no-take marine sanctuaries in the South-West Australian Waters!
1. Sign our online petition to Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke today - Support the protection of the Flatback Turtle, Dugong and the Australian
2. Join our Blue Army on Facebook – friend Support Marine Sanctuaries and the Wilderness Society
3. Stay up to date. Subscribe to email updates.
4. Show your support by ordering your free 'Save Our Marine Life' sticker and display it with pride!
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Inc