It’s an exciting time for Sydney-siders, with the New South Wales Government currently considering ways to better protect our spectacular and unique marine life.

Our blue backyard is central to our way of life, reputation and economy, yet less than 1% of Sydney’s oceans are protected. The Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion assessment is currently underway to work out how to best manage our oceans from Newcastle to Wollongong. This is our chance to finally safeguard our incredible coastal lifestyle we love so much and ensure we have fish for the future.

Sydney’s coast has a unique mix of warm tropical waters from the north and colder southern currents, meaning our waters are home to an enormous range of marine plants and animals. Yet our incredible marine life is feeling the pressure. Fishing, pollution, climate change, introduced marine pests, inappropriate coastal development and lack of adequate protection are putting our marine life at risk. A marine park will build resilience and protect our coast now and in the future.

The Sydney Marine Park Alliance, local businesses and environment and community groups are calling for a Sydney Marine Park. A Sydney Marine Park is fundamentally about protecting marine life and ensuring that all activities are managed in a sustainable way.

Just like our other marine parks, a Sydney Marine Park would manage for a mix of uses, including recreational and commercial fishing and a network of marine sanctuaries throughout. Well managed marine parks show how conservation, tourism and fishing work hand in hand and are good for our environment and economy.

A Sydney Marine Park with a network of fully protected marine sanctuaries, along with other initiatives such as improving water quality, is essential to ensure sufficient protection for the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion.