Back in February, Recfishwest brought you news of the WA Government’s announcement of a new and transparent marine park consultation process.
This week, Recfishwest engaged in our first meeting of the new process, involving the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions as well as the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development.
From a recreational fishing perspective there are four areas of the State for which we need to be engaged under this new planning phase. These are:
- A proposed Buccaneer Archipelago Marine Park;
- A review of and potential changes to the Marmion Marine park;
- A new marine park on the south coast in an area possibly near Esperance;
- A land based terrestrial national park at the Abrolhos Islands.
Recfishwest is seeking a better and more inclusive process for future marine planning activities than we have seen in the past.
A new process is needed to ensure all of the values and benefits provided to fishing in these areas are captured and recognised within marine park planning.
It is vitally important that people who use these areas and live in these regions have maximum opportunity to provide input and that this input is effectively captured within the outcomes of the final management plans.
In the past we’ve found these opportunities to be lacking. This has led to significant impacts on areas that recreational fishers have historically had access to and some good fishing locations have been unnecessarily locked away.
The first meeting was a positive one with the Departments seeking feedback as to what a better process may look like. At the end of the day we all want to ensure a healthy marine environment and have management systems in place that properly look after the areas that we care about.
Marine parks should be underpinned by peer reviewed science and must be implemented using simple, practical management that is risk-based, transparent and subject to regular review.
Recfishwest will keep you updated with opportunities to have your say throughout the consultation process.