Right now, the Federal Environment Minister is
considering how much of Australia's tropical North and Northwestern waters he
will safeguard in new marine reserves.
Think of tropical
seas and you probably think of healthy turquoise waters brimming with
incredible sea life, not an industrial wasteland choked with oil rigs and
The tropical waters
of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Top End, Kimberley, Pilbara and Ningaloo are still
a haven providing critical habitat for endangered sea turtles, vulnerable
dugong, rare snubfin dolphins and migratory humpback whales.
Yet less than 1% of
these vast waters are effectively protected - ugly industrialisation is the
fate Australia's northern seas are facing unless we act now.
Minister Tony Burke is considering how much of our northern waters he will
safeguard. Tragically he has released plans that would leave nearly all of our
northern seas open to drilling, mining and fishing.
The Minister is planning to keep just 3% of the
North and 12% of the Northwest safe from drilling, mining and over-fishing.
This proposal is totally inadequate and will not protect the critical habitats
of our turtles, dugong, whales, fish and dolphins from destructive fishing and
from around the country want the Minister to do better. Please send Minister Burke a message that he must safeguard the
rare and threatened tropical sea life of Northern Australia in a network of
large marine sanctuaries from Kalbarri in WA to the Torres Strait in
Thanks for your
support - every voice counts!
Please write to the Environment Minister, the Hon
Tony Burke MP by email to Tony.Burke.MP@aph.gov.au
or by fax to 02 6273 6101
Also copy your correspondence to Submissions.North@environment.gov.au
and Submissions.Northwest@environment.gov.au and ask that your email be considered as a submission into the
Federal government's marine planning public consultation process.
Let the Minister know that the current proposals:
- Give full
protection to only 3% of the North and only 12% of the North-west regions,
leaving the rest open to damaging fishing practices and oil and gas
- Fail to
adequately protect critical habitat for threatened species including
humpback whales, whale sharks, flatback turtles and snubfin dolphins;
- Do not meet
international scientific benchmarks for protection;
- Fail to
protect the most important and iconic areas for tropical marine life;
Northern Region - Only one of the 12 underwater icons
is fully protected, leaving the Central Gulf/Cape York, Limmen Bight, Coburg
Pinnacles, Arafura Canyons and Fog Bay exposed to oil and gas drilling, seabed
mining and overfishing.
North-west Region - Only one of the 15 marine icons
is fully protected, leaving spectacular places like the whale feeding canyons
off Shark Bay and Ningaloo Reef; turtle and dugong havens along the Pilbara
coast; coral atolls like the Rowley Shoals; and whale breeding grounds off the
Kimberley coast vulnerable to degradation and industrial development.
Let the Minister know that the number and size of
marine sanctuaries in North and North-west must dramatically increase to
protect these important and iconic areas. Sanctuaries must protect a sample of
all habitats, in both shallow and deep water, if our sealife is to have a real
chance of survival.
Please write by 28th November 2011.
Please send us copies of any responses you