WA Marine Sanctuaries Popular With Fishers: New Research

SOML / CCWA media release from June 3rd 2011

Six out of 10 West Australians who regularly fish believe marine life is in decline and an even greater number, 72 per cent, support the creation of marine sanctuaries off the cost to protect fish stocks and other marine life, new research provided to the state government has found.

Leading market research company Patterson Market Research also found that almost two-thirds of West Australians support protecting at least 30 per cent of the waters off the WA coast in marine sanctuaries.

The statewide research was commissioned by WA businessman Jock Clough in the lead up to the release of maps of proposed new marine parks off WA’s coast by the federal government in May.

Mr Clough said he was motivated by a desire to contribute to an unprecedented period of government decisions about the long-term health of WA’s oceans.

“Like any West Australian, I believe our coast, the lifestyle it supports and the health of our oceans are unique and worth looking after for everyone now and for the future,” Mr Clough said.

Patterson’s research sampled the opinions of 604 West Australians from across Perth metropolitan area and also country WA in mid April.

The results of the research, which was also supported by the Conservation Council of WA, were shared with the state government before being released publicly.

“Marine sanctuaries are the missing piece of the puzzle to manage and protect WA’s oceans. West Australians have wanted hotspots for unique marine life protected for many years and most fishers know now understand that the edge of large sanctuaries will be the best fishing spots in the future,” Tim Nicol from the Conservation Council of WA said.

WA Research Findings:

  • Six out of 10 people who frequently fish (fished more than 12 times in the past year) support protecting at least 30 per cent of the waters of WA’s coast in marine sanctuaries.
  • 63 per cent of West Australians believe that marine life in WA’s waters is in decline.
  • Eight out of 10 West Australians would like the state and federal governments to work together to establish marine sanctuaries off the WA coast.
  • 67 per cent of people support protecting at least 30 per cent of waters directly off the coast from Perth, such as the Perth Canyon, in a marine sanctuary.

Regional WA Research Findings:

  • The Kimberley: 73 per cent of West Australians support protecting at least 30 per cent of waters off the Kimberley coast in marine sanctuaries.
  • Perth to Geraldton: 70 per cent of West Australians support protecting at least 30 per cent of waters off the coast between Perth and Geraldton, such as at the Rottnest Shelf and Abrolhos Islands in marine sanctuaries.
  • Perth to Busselton: 69 per cent of West Australians support protecting at least 30 per cent of waters off the coast between Perth and Busselton, such as at Geographe Bay, in marine sanctuaries.
  • Busselton to Augusta: 72 per cent of people support protecting at least 30 per cent of waters off the coast between Busselton to Augusta, such as the Naturaliste Plateau, in marine sanctuaries.
  • East of Augusta: 72 per cent of people support protecting at least 30 per cent of waters off the coast east of Augusta at places, such as the Albany Canyons and Recherche Archipelago, in marine sanctuaries.
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One thought on “WA Marine Sanctuaries Popular With Fishers: New Research

  1. Pingback: Radio National Australia Talks: Fishing « The Happy Squid Blog

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