About the campaign

Bands from across the country and around the world who care about our oceans and the beautiful marine life that inhabit them are using their profiles to make a difference. They’re calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene and stop the destructive plan from going ahead – and they’re hoping to inspire people in the Australian and international community to do the same.

About the problem

The Government’s proposal will affect a total area the size of Victoria and Tasmania combined, including:

  • The Coral Sea Marine Park – one of the world’s last true ocean wildernesses
  • Middleton Reef – part of the Lord Howe Marine Park
  • The Diamantina Fracture Zone in the Southwest Marine Park – an underwater canyon system home to endangered wildlife
  • Argo Rowley Terrace and Gascoyne zones that sustain the marine life of the Kimberley and Ningaloo have been stripped of much of their green zone protection
  • The Gulf of Carpentaria off the Wessel Islands, Karumba and in the Torres Strait.

If these protections are wound-back, it will clear the way for large-scale industrial fishing in these areas, and allow for destructive practices such as trawling – destroying habitats for marine life and significantly reducing fish stocks!

The State of Our Oceans

Now more than ever, these marine parks are crucial refuges for marine life and habitats!

Our oceans are already struggling under the immense weight of pollution, coastal development, overfishing and climate change:

  • 30% of Australia’s large fish have disappeared in the last 10 years due to overfishing
  • Ocean acidification is on the rise and biodiversity is declining, habitats are being destroyed and more and more species are becoming endangered or extinct
  • Sea surface temperatures are rising at seven times the rate observed in the 20th century
  • Over 50 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef’s hard cover coral has been lost in the last 30 years
  • 90-99% of Australia’s shellfish reefs have disappeared – meaning less than 1% of habitat for Australia Flat and Rock Oysters remains
  • Marine turtles and dugongs have suffered significant population and habitat loss
  • We have lost 56% of our Australian sea lions – found nowhere else on the planet, Souther blue fin tuna numbers are down by 85% in just decades.
  • No species have been removed from the EPBC Act threatened species list since 2011 while many have been added.
It’s not just bad for the environment – it’s bad for business

This is not just an environmental issue – unprotected oceans are bad for business and bad for fishing. Australia’s marine tourism sector is worth $28 billion, whereas the economic return for commercial fishing is in the tens of millions.

Instead of making sure the oceans are there for our children to go fishing, diving, run tourism businesses, and enjoy sustainably caught seafood, this plan would open our protected marine reserves to destructive fishing for a short-term buck.

Our pristine oceans are one of our greatest natural resources and if we mismanage them tourists are going to stop coming, fish stocks are going to plummet, and the weekend angler is going to become the next endangered species.

There’ll be little left to catch.

Resources

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