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Monday, 30 May 2011
Page: 5154

Marine Conservation

Debate resumed on motion by Ms Parke:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) Australia's oceans are the most diverse on earth but less than 1 per cent of the South-West, North-West, North, Coral Sea and East marine regions are currently protected;

(b) the Australian coastal lifestyles and our coastal economies are dependent on the good health of our oceans;

(c) evidence from marine sanctuaries around the world, including in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, has shown that fish populations and fish size dramatically increase inside sanctuaries and in the nearby fished areas;

(d) the marine and environmental science is clear, and in 2008, 900 scientists from the Australian Marine Scientists Association reached a consensus that the creation of networks of large marine sanctuaries will:

(i) protect ocean life, including threatened species and critical habitats;

(ii) recover the abundance of ocean life within and beyond sanctuary boundaries, fostering more and bigger fish;

(iii) increase the resilience of ocean life to climate change; and

(iv) underpin the future of commercial and recreational fisheries and the sustainability of coastal economies; and

(e) through international agreement under the Convention on Biological Diversity, Australia has committed to establishing networks of marine reserves in its oceans by the end of 2012;

(2) welcomes the fact that:

(a) during 2011 the Australian Government will be finalising marine bioregional marine plans for the South-West, North-West, North and East marine regions (including the Coral Sea) in keeping with the commitment to a national marine conservation scheme first agreed to at the Council of Australian Governments in 1998;

(b) each marine bioregional plan will include a proposed network of Commonwealth marine reserves that will include sanctuary zones; and

(c) 2011 is the year of delivery for the world-class protection of the world's richest marine environments; and

(3) calls upon the Australian Government to further consider:

(a) establishing networks of large marine sanctuaries in each of the marine regions currently under investigation in the marine bioregional planning process; and

(b) providing sufficient funding for the transition of commercial fishing activities displaced by the establishment of marine sanctuaries.