The risks to Australia’s marine environments are growing as threats increase. Climate change impacts, overfishing, marine pollution and debris, commercial shipping and offshore oil and gas exploration & production can have devastating impacts on fragile marine ecosystems. We had in place a world-leading network of marine reserves, before the Abbott-Turnbull Government effectively suspended them. The Greens will protect Australia’s marine habitats by reinstating management plans for our marine reserves at a cost of $67 million, and provide $69.5m in compensation for displaced fisheries.
Attacks on a world class marine network
In 2012, the Australian Government announced the world’s largest network of marine reserves.4 This was an important step in protecting our incredible marine environments. In 2013, the Abbott Government suspended management plans for the extended system of marine reserves, before they had even commenced. This left the marine reserves as just lines on maps and vulnerable to damage. Now the Coalition will not release their review of the reserves until after the election.
Protecting marine ecosystems
The Greens will make management plans operational immediately right around Australia. This will protect Australia’s unique marine ecosystems for future generations, protecting them from overfishing, exploitation and other risks. Reinstating the management plans will cost $67 million from 2016-17 to 2019-20.
Reinstating management plans for the network of marine reserves will have a crucial impact for ecosystems and species around Australia. The network covers 3.1 million square kilometres.
Marine research & fisheries protection
The Greens will also work to make sure we have a better understanding, and protections of, key parts of our marine ecosystems. We will do this by providing $8m in additional funding for coral bleaching research, banning supertrawlers, Boosting shark research by $6m, Protecting sharks from finning at a cost of $2.5m and applying mandatory country of origin seafood labelling.
Banning super trawlers
The Geelong Star has caught endangered and protected species in its giant net including dolphins, seals, albatrosses and a whale shark. It’s time for the boat to be sent home. The Greens are committed to protecting our world class marine ecosystems. We will stop fishing by supertrawlers such as the Geelong Star, which is causing immense environmental damage.
A fair compensation package
As part of this initiative, the Greens will fund compensation for commercial fishers impacted by the reserve system. This will be in line with the compensation approach taken by the previous Government, at a cost of $69.5 million.