• North Coast Environment Council

    Formed in 1976, we are the peak umbrella environment group in northern NSW. We cover the area from the Hunter to the Tweed and west to the New England Highway. We also actively support other campaigns further afield. We receive no government funding and have no paid staff or central office. Our members and office-bearers work around the region, often travelling large distances to assist others as we organise in our defence of the environment and the communities it sustains. We rely on donations and the efforts of our members and volunteers, to remain effective. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to assist us with our work, we guarantee plenty of bang for your buck. Post us a message to this site and we will get back to you.
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Parker and Hodgkinson take the sanctuary out of Marine Parks.

Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson and Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker today gutted important protection measures in existing marine parks by removing sanctuary zones from beaches and headlands within marine Parks.

The North Coast Environment Council spokesperson and keen fisherman and diver, Mr John Jeayes, said today in Port Macquarie, “This decision to remove sanctuary protection in some areas of marine parks by Ministers Parker and Hodgkinson is appalling. It is clearly yet another advance to the Shooters and Fishers Party at the expense of the environment.”

Ms Hodgkinson said in the joint media release, “After years of political interference and decisions based on poor or incomplete science by the previous Labor Government, the credibility of Marine Parks and our fishing industries has been undermined,”.

 Mr Jeayes stated, “This hypocritical duo, Parker and Hodgkinson, claim they are taking the politics out of marine parks but in fact they are doing the exact opposite by interfering and removing the scientific judgement which established the sanctuary zones in the first place.

 “The precautionary principle of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 states that  “Lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing a measure to prevent degradation of the environment where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage”.

 Mr Jeayes pointed out forcefully, “It does not say remove protection from a recognised sanctuaryand see what happens in a six month review by a Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel headed by an economist!

 “The NSW Government is misrepresenting the Independent Scientific Audit of Marine Parks recommendations. The Beeton study did not recommend fishing in sanctuary zones, rather it recommended “that the current system of marine parks as established in NSW be maintained” and that “no-take zones are important”.

 “If these two ministers want to commission independent scientific reviews that is fine, and if they find the sanctuary zones redundant then they would have a case, that is scientific method. But what these two ministers are doing is appeasing a political ally. Their actions have nothing to do with sustainability, they clearly have no genuine concern about the marine environment or declining fish stocks,” added Mr Jeayes.


4 Responses

  1. I write this to John Jeayes on his comment on the ABC website.

    “If you take a marine sanctuary area like Bouddi National Park extension that marine sanctuary is renowned for producing of fish stocks.
    “It’s way above in biodiversity compared to surrounding areas,” he said.
    “Fishermen even go to the edges of that marine sanctuary to fish because they know that’s where the fish are going to generate from.”

    John please produce the scientific studies of the fish stocks in Bouddi Reserve before it was created, only then can we make a judgement. There is no study however let me tell you a little about Bouddi or as it was called Mailand Bay. The SS Mailand was wrecked in a gale my great gradfather on horseback was one of the first on the scene and assisted several survivors. He offered shelter to one young person in his house for several days. He often fished in the bay as did my grand father, my father and me. The area, as it is today was considered far superior in fish stocks than adjacent areas. Before the Marine Park was established it was the only spot I went to fish. I caught Snapper, Bream, Luderick, Mulloway and Tailor. John, all fish that do not grow up in the ocean, all transient fish in the area. In the depression years one of my Uncles drowned while spearing Luderick for food.New Ground Point right in the middle of the park was regarded as one of the best spost to catch Luderick and Tailor compared to the points both south and north of the park.
    My brother still fishes near the park, his catch may have swum out of the park but then again maybe they are swimming the other way.
    You have no idea what you are talking about, same old story Marine Parks acting as nursery areas, Produce some facts and not the reports Bill Gladstone produced. BTW Bill’s co author is my Nephew.
    You have no idea of the effect on my well being not being able to fish at Mailand Bay, it has deeply impacted on my lifestyle so much so I moved from the area.

    • Thank you for your information Victor and your polite manner in putting your argument but it is not correct to imply I know nothing about the place or the benefits and limitations of marine parks.
      As a youngster I lived at Davistown and tagged along with my dad and we fished Avoca, Copa, Killcare and Macmasters Beach but dad did the long walk down into Bouddi on his own. He swore by the place as a fishing hotspot. Later we fished in his boat for jewies and big snapper on the reef off Killcare Beach.
      I note that you too recognise the fish stocks were healthy then as they are now. When Bob Debus set out to form marine parks in 2001 he followed the international agreements to conserve comprehensive,representative, and adequate system of marine protected areas to protect marine biodiversity.
      While you might rush to dismiss Professor Bill Gladstone’s opinion I doubt that he is wrong in stating that the area in question has significance as a representative of assemblage diversity.This is one of the key requisites for a sanctuary area.
      The benefits of marine parks are well documented in the literature and confirmed as i said by fishers who fish the edges like the Bommie in Maitland Bay.

      • John I still question your knowledge of the area. The Maitland Bommie according to fisheries officers is inside the marine park boundary and thus it is illegal to fish it. It was my favourite location far superior to the Killcare reef you mentioned. My brother continues to fish the waters off Boudii having fished it four days in a row last week. He finds there is no evidence there are more fish adjacent to the Marine Park Boundry at all. The most comon fish caught in the area used for consumption, Snapper, Bream, Luderick and Tailor all migrate and are highly mobile. They are fish that live in estuaries as juvineles. One of the biggest problems we have in australia is wasting money on ocean marine parks only to find it is our rivers and estuaries that need rehabilitation. It is of no use conserving an ocean area for its biodiversity only to find a nearby river (i.e. Hawkesbury Nepean) is pouring out toxins and pollutants into it. The Great Barrier Reef a prime example with scientists now only figuring out fishing is not killing the reef it is what comes out of the rivers. It will not be long if not already that introduced weeds will make the Maitland Rock shelf a home the same as the adjacent terestial park full of feral animals and plants. It will prove impossible to keep the Boudii Marine Reserve pristine so the idea it will be representative is false.

  2. Thanks, Victor for your comment but since I no longer live in the area I can only judge that people fish for drummer still in the park and east of the bommie from what they have posted at this Sydney Angler site,


    although some are upset one fisher opened his mouth and talked about drummer there online.
    I agree with your comments on water quality in rivers and estuaries but that comment is a typical “red herring” thrown up time and again by the ECOfishers. The need to stop pollution from the land has nothing to do with the need for a comprehensive, adequate and representative system of marine parks and sanctuary areas.

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