Protecting the National Network of Marine Sanctuaries in Australia is a campaign we’ve fought long and hard for.
In 2012, we helped make history by creating the world’s largest network of marine sanctuaries – protecting Australia’s incredible marine life. Scuba divers across Australia and beyond rallied together and our voice was heard.
But despite 15 years of science and overwhelming community support, these same sanctuaries were placed at risk when the network was suspended back in December 2013.
Now, four years on, a review into the suspended National Network of Marine Sanctuaries has finally been released. And it’s worse than we thought.
Massive sanctuary cutbacks are proposed in crucial hotspots around Australia, including the globally important Coral Sea – the cradle to the Great Barrier Reef and one of the few ocean places where sharks rule and tuna thrive. Popular diving hot spots like Osprey and Bougainville Reef could face loss of protection. In other areas, the cut backs have paved the way for destructive trawling and gillnetting as well as a loss of protection in a Southern Right Whale nursery.
But we have a chance right now to influence the decision. The Australian Government is asking for your feedback. You can add your name today to reject the cutbacks and fully restore our National Network of Sanctuaries.
Leaders around the world are committing to increasing marine protected areas. Just a few weeks ago, President Obama expanded the national marine monument in Hawaii creating the world’s largest ecologically protected area. And last year the UK made similar conservation progress with the establishment of a marine reserve in waters around the Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific.
Don’t let Australia fail in its responsibility to protect the ocean. We want Australia to fulfil its promise to establish marine sanctuaries based on science.
The final decision on the fate of our sanctuaries has not yet been made. This is our chance to be heard. Together we are a powerful force. Please add your name today to help save our sanctuaries.
Image courtesy of Simon Mitchell.