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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Australia's report to the UNCSD - 1996

Implementation of Agenda 21
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 6422 4868 0

Case Study - Oceans

Fisheries management and Marine Reserves in New South Wales: managing the ecosystem

In the State of New South Wales, the Fisheries Management Act 1994 integrates fish and habitat management. This new Act encompasses some significant changes and widens the scope of traditional fisheries management to include habitat protection plans and provisions for protecting marine vegetation.

The Act provides for the management, protection, development and use of aquatic reserves and for the zoning of areas for different uses within these reserves. New South Wales Fisheries has established and administers eight such reserves. Use of reserves is based on the concepts of: conservation (preservation of aquatic ecosystems); scientific (undisturbed areas for scientific study); recreational (extractive and non-extractive recreational uses), as well as other uses dependant on zoning.

Of the eight aquatic reserves in New South Wales, the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve is the largest, covering 85 000 hectares along the coastline in northern New South Wales. This reserve includes estuaries, beaches, headlands, rock platforms, islands and offshore waters. It provides an excellent example of a representative marine system of tropical and temperate plants and animals.

The Solitary Islands Marine Reserve is a designated multiple use area encompassing both Commonwealth and State waters. As there needs to be a balance between use and conservation of the area's resources, New South Wales Fisheries has developed a comprehensive zoning scheme involving sanctuary, refuge, recreational and general use zones. Importantly, there is a balance between the sanctuary zones, which are the areas of complete protection, and the general use zone which include commercial activities such as prawn trawling, line fishing, trapping, netting and tourism. All commercial activities require licences and permits and are closely managed. The general use zone also includes recreational fishing such as line fishing, netting, trapping, spear fishing, collecting and diving. This marine reserve is also an important area for scientists and students who study aquatic ecology.

The Solitary Islands Marine Reserve has some areas totally covered with corals. This tropical feature is rare in NSW. Interestingly, these corals coexist in areas with species of temperate kelp. Many divers, photographers and scientists find this aspect of great interest. Another important feature is the giant anemone and anemone fish. North Solitary Island has one of the densest aggregations of anemones and anemone fish in the world.