Nin­ga­loo pro­tec­tion sta­tus re­mains

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Sally Barnes Di­rec­tor of na­tional parks

Nin­ga­loo is one of our best-known and most im­por­tant Aus­tralian marine parks, loved by its com­mu­nity and many visi­tors alike.

With that in mind, I would like to re­as­sure the com­mu­nity that there will be no changes to its cur­rent pro­tec­tion un­der the draft plans I re­leased on Fri­day.

Nin­ga­loo Marine Park (Com­mon­wealth wa­ters) is 2435sqkm next to the larger, State-man­aged Nin­ga­loo Marine Park.

We use In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture Guide­lines to de­fine the zones in our marine parks. Nin­ga­loo was pro­claimed in 1987.

At the time it was pro­claimed as cat­e­gory two.

Un­der these guide­lines, it in­cluded recre­ational use.

Ev­ery­thing in the draft plans we re­leased on Fri­day re­mains con­sis­tent with this.

All we have done is up­dated the park’s zon­ing to a new cat­e­gory, to bet­ter re­flect what peo­ple al­ready love do­ing in the park — recre­ational fish­ing and tourism ac­tiv­i­ties like div­ing.

The in­de­pen­dent Com­mon­wealth Marine Re­serves Re­view made this same rec­om­men­da­tion to us — to re-cat­e­gorise the park for con­sis­tency with other marine parks in WA and the coun­try. We haven’t “cut” Nin­ga­loo’s pro­tec­tion.

Recre­ational uses al­lowed un­der this draft plan are com­pletely con­sis­tent with the neigh­bour­ing Nin­ga­loo Marine Park, man­aged by the WA Gov­ern­ment.

If peo­ple would like to have their say on the draft plans I re­leased on Fri­day, I would love to hear from them. Visit park­saus­tralia.gov.au/marine to find out more and to give us your feed­back.

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