Keep Fishermen out of Marine Sanctuaries

Target:  Premier Barry O’Farrell of New South Wales

Goal: Uphold protections on sensitive marine sanctuaries

The government of the Australian province of New South Wales has legalized recreational fishing in sensitive marine sanctuaries. These sheltered areas allow certain species to recover from overfishing, but are now subject to the hooks of sport fishers. A petition signed by over 200 marine scientists has urged the government of New South Wales to reconsider its decision regarding its sanctuaries. Join these scientists and demand restrictions on fishing within ‘safe’ zones.

There are currently 18 aquatic protected areas in New South Wales, comprising a total of 857,670 acres. The decision to allow fishing in these marine sanctuaries was made without the consult of marine scientists. It was made with no consideration for the environment. It was not based on research, runs counter to the interests of citizens, and is most likely part of a political deal involving various coalitions within the government.

The marine sanctuaries that the New South Wales government is putting at risk are important in protecting many vulnerable species. These regions are critical to endangered fish such as the scalloped hammerhead shark, Macquarie perch, and southern bluefin tuna. As of now, the petition signed by so many scientists is the only thing that might protect them.

The government of New South Wales has confirmed that it received the petition urging a ban on fishing in these protected sanctuaries. We must stand with these marine scientists in demanding that these critical sanctuaries be protected from fishing.


Dear Premier Barry O’Farrell:

In March of 2013 your government began allowing recreational fishing in once protected marine sanctuaries. These sanctuaries play a crucial role in protecting many vulnerable species from overfishing that has gone on for decades.

I understand that a group of marine scientists has recently petitioned your government to reconsider your actions in this matter. They have urged you to once again disallow fishing in these ecologically sensitive areas. I implore you to heed the advice of these scientists. It is important that these sanctuaries be left undisturbed by fisherman so that they may continue to flourish and allow fish populations to recover.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Benjamint444 via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Sanctuaries are just that , so keep fishermen or anyone out of them .

  2. Fishermen have no business in sanctuaries. Do you not get what the word sanctuary means, what part of it don’t you understand.

  3. Tanya Selth says:

    As an Australian I think it is ridiculous for fishing to be allowed to be going on in marine sancturaries. Please NSW stop this and protect our wildlife.

  4. Bruce Pease says:

    The government is bending to the will of recreational fishers and the Shooters and Fishers party because they are a significant voting block. Those of us in the general public who care for our environment and will not tolerate any reduction in marine sanctuary zones must show the government that we are also a significant voting block.

  5. Australia and the current NSW Government should be commended for being one of the first – possibly only governments to make such serious legislated strides backwards in the conservation of our marine resources. Particularly flying in the face of any professional advice and bowing to the pressure from amateur recreational fishers to allow them to fish in the Marine Parks sanctuary zones, designed to preserve the fish stocks for future generations. More so at a time when commercial, professional fishers generally recognise that the fish stocks are seriously depleted and the need for resource management. More agenda driven politics.

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