Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Marine Park Plan Reviewed; Have Your Say on Major Changes to Our Fisheries

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Marine Park Plan Reviewed; Have Your Say on Major Changes to Our Fisheries

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Steger

FOR the first time in 13 years, the Great Sandy Marine Park zoning plan will be reassessed by the State Government, giving local stakeholders a rare opportunity to have their say on the park's future.

Yesterday's release of the Great Sandy Marine Park Discussion Paper - Zoning Plan Opportunities signals the first review of the marine park since its establishment in 2006.

With help from community stakeholders, the discussion paper aims to identify and explore ways to better protect the marine environment in light of growing environmental concerns such as a changing climate, increased tourism, commercial fishing and recreational fishing activity and pollutants coming out of the agricultural sector.

Extending from Baffle Creek to Double Island Point, the Great Sandy Marine Park protects more than 6000sq km along the Bundaberg and Fraser Coast and is home to a diverse range of plants and animals.

The primary matters of conservation interest in the Bundaberg region in relation to the Great Sandy Marine Park include the broad-ecological values provided by Baffle and Littabella creeks, and turtle habitat values in the Moore Park area.

In the 60-page document, the Department of Environment and Science made a number of suggestions to ensure the management of the marine park remained relevant and effective for its long-term conservation and sustainable use. These included:

extending the boundary of existing Turtle Protection Areas in the Wide Bay region;

establishing a conservation park zone along Moore Park Beach;

establishing a marine national park zone in Baffle Creek;

introducing a new conservation park zone between Burnett Heads and Burkitt's Reef; and

introducing further turtle protection measures such as a go-slow area in the Moore Park area or seasonal-use restrictions, which would prohibit trawling and access restrictions between dusk and dawn (meaning no swimming, fishing, boating or pets allowed). …

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