Please accept my submission to the public consultation for the proposed marine parks in the Buccaneer Archipelago.
I welcome the creation of the Maiyalam, Mayala, and Bardi Jawi Marine Parks and support the joint vesting and management arrangements with the Dambimangari, Mayala and Bardi Jawi Traditional Owners. The co-design process incorporating the aspirations of the Traditional Owners is a significant achievement recognising the significant cultural values and ongoing connections to sea country.
I commend the level of protection offered through the sanctuary and special purpose cultural protection zones around Sunday Islands, the Graveyard, Robinson River and the outer islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago (Caffarellis, Bedford, Finch, Admiral). I urge for the marine parks to remain of world-class standard by maintaining the size and integrity of sanctuary and special purpose cultural zones throughout the consultation period.
An increase is needed in the protection of key habitats in the marine parks over:
- islands and fringing reefs in Strickland Bay
- inner King Sound
- critical calving, nursing and resting habitat for humpback whales north of Admiral Island and off Packer Island (Dampier Peninsula)
- critical Olive Ridley turtle habitat at Cape Leveque.
I ask that the westward waters off Irvine Island are included within the marine park boundaries to ensure protection from the expansion of destructive iron ore mining.
I look forward to the Outer Buccaneer Archipelago from Adele Island, Beagle and Mavis Reef gaining protection in the near future.
Further, gillnetting is a destructive fishing technique that is incompatible with the protection of critically endangered species found within the marine parks and should be banned in all zones.
These changes will ensure that the Maiyalam, Mayala, and Bardi Jawi Marine Parks meet their objectives to protect and conserve biodiversity and ecological integrity, and to allow for sustainable resource use, recreation and tourism activities. The Marine Parks will offer the opportunity to safeguard the unique cultural, conservation and fishing lifestyle values of this iconic region.