SA marine parks area reduced

A smaller area than first proposed will be set aside as protected marine parks in South Australian coastal waters.

Planned boundaries have been changed after public consultation with the fishing industry, recreational fishing groups, councils and environment groups.

The South Australian Government says 44 per cent of the state’s waters will be in parks instead of 46 per cent.

SA Environment and Conservation Minister Jay Weatherill thinks a good compromise has been reached, to protect various interests.

“These changes will accommodate industry and community concerns about sensitive sites while helping conserve the habitats we need to protect,” he said.

“I’m also very confident that we can have a very prosperous fishing industry, we can have recreational fishers enjoying all of the things they used to do and making sure that all of those uses can continue to occur at the same time.

“It has been good to get the various interest groups working together and I look forward to that co-operation continuing through the next stage of developing the marine parks system.”

Peter Owen from the Wilderness Society says the compromise is welcome.

“I think today’s announcement is a very positive step for marine conservation in South Australia,” he said.

“We’ve still got a long way to go. These are just the outer boundaries – the sanctuary zones have yet to be determined, but this is a fantastic first step.”

The changes have been proclaimed by the Governor.

Source: ABC News