AMSA provided a submission on the expansion of the Macquarie Island Marine Park.
In summary, AMSA:
- Supports the proposed design principles and particularly the rationale outlined in the independent expert report by Cresswell et al 2023 that the design philosophy should be to first establish what the key values are that need protection, then determine the required management (zoning; as opposed alternative approaches where conservation values are one of several sets of values considered in an optimisation).
- Urges that, consistent with the recommendations of the independent expert report of Cresswell et al 2023, the habitat protection zone be delimited as the area of the current toothfish fishery (mainly within the Central/Central assessment zone)
- Emphasises the need to ensure that the marine park’s design is ‘Comprehensive, Adequate, and Representative’, and that the park is effectively enforced and managed, in keeping with AMSA’s Position Statement on Marine Protected Areas. Importantly, sanctuary zones should be representative of all marine environments in the region. We note that representation is not met under the current zoning because all of the west of the ridge and most of the northern and southern parts are not in the current marine park.
- Suggests that the area of Australia’s extended continental shelf where Macquarie Ridge extends to the south of the Macquarie Island EEZ, which features at least one prominent seamount, be considered for inclusion in the SE Marine Park Network.