Author: Professor David Booth
As a marine scientist, I welcome Senator Burke’s brave decision today to roll out Australia’s marine park system. This puts us on a par with other leading nations like the US and UK who have established large ocean reserves within their jurisdiction. A major element is that the parks are to be formalised all around Australia, not just in iconic places like the coral reefs of the north-east.
Despite anti-park lobbying, parks are vital in protecting marine biodiversity against the ravages of overfishing. There is clear world evidence that parks are effective, just as there is strong evidence that overfishing is a major destructive force facing marine biodiversity, yet less than 1% of oceans are off-limits to fishing. World scientific opinion is that more than 20% of the oceans need to be fully protected from fishing.
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