Letter: Protect our oceans

I’m sure Port Macquarie residents all would agree that the death of the beautiful 18 tonne whale on Nobbys Beach was a most distressing sight to see.

The poor creature had been trapped in fishing nets, how long he struggled to free itself we don’t know.

We can expect to see more of this tragedy as the Australian Government is considering cutting the area of ocean Australia protects by 50 per cent.

These changes will make Australia the world leader in winding back protection for the oceans.

In the Coral Sea alone, the area placed in Marine National Parks has been halved.

The same goes for Marion Reef. Even Osprey Reef, on of the top dive sites in the world, has had half its area removed from the Marine National Park.

Shark and Vema reefs have been taken out of the Marine National Park all together.

Mid-water trawling is to be re-introduced and it will now be possible for long lining to start at the southern tip of the Coral Sea reserve and continue all the way to the northern boundary.

No government ever has taken this many hectares out of conservation before. It’s the largest backward step in areas under conservation in history.

These protections were put in place five years ago by the then Environment Minister Tony Burke.

Please don’t let this irresponsible tragedy happen – it’s up to you.

Beverley Sharpe

Port Macquarie

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