Filtering the words on the rising tide of the marine conservation debate
- Views Icon Views
- Chapter PDF
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Pat Hutchings, Daniel Lunney, 2003. "Filtering the words on the rising tide of the marine conservation debate", Conserving Marine Environments: Out of sight, out of mind, Pat Hutchings, Daniel Lunney
Download citation file:
This chapter presents an overview of Conserving Marine Environments Out of sight, out of mind, and it provides a context for conserving Australia's marine environment by commenting on the Coasts and Oceans, Australia State of the Environment 2001 (Theme Report) then looks at the marine environment through the eyes of the media and conservation non-government organisations. The ASEC, 2001 concluded that water quality and loss of habitats are the major issues facing Australia and that the quality of estuarine and coastal waters has not improved. Commonwealth legislation is consistent around Australia, but this is not the case for the states. There is little protection in international waters, where threatened seabirds spend part of their life. Salinity has gradually intruded upstream, but proposals to increase environmental flows of freshwater to restore wetlands have not been acted on. Initially, small isolated aquatic reserves were established, but recently larger areas have been declared as multi-use parks with zones. Off-park conservation is also critical for long-term survival, given such findings that there is no area of Australia's continental shelf that has not been trawled and a large amount of the surface epifauna removed. It is essential to link excellent science and policy with immense public support, and this endeavour is being supported by some high quality journalism. The papers published here reinforce the need for active marine conservation, both of coastal and offshore habitats, and the need for sustainable management of our marine resources. The challenge is also to acknowledge the great time scale on which the marine environment functions and its immense geographical scale, not to mention the long-term contribution of the scientific imagination in everything from experimental design to the naming of a mollusc on a seamount.