NEWS 7 March 2023 | Page last updated: 10/3/2023

Great news! The federal government will expand the Macquarie Island Marine Park. This is a clear sign they are serious about increasing ocean protection.
The marine zone will now cover the exquisite area between Tasmania and Antarctica. That’s equivalent in size to Germany!
This is very good news for the plethora of penguins, seabirds and seals that call it home. Some of these Southern Ocean creatures are also visitors to Victoria’s coastlines. The marine life this act will benefit includes:
  • Royal Penguins
  • Rockhopper Penguins
  • Subantarctic Fur Seals
  • Southern Elephant Seals
  • Black-browed Albatrosses
  • Grey-headed Albatrosses
  • Grey Petrels.
Caption: Grey-faced Albatross Photo: Ed Dunens / Flickr

Unfortunately we cannot speak in the same high spirits for Victoria.

While we have 24 marine national parks and sanctuaries, they only protect 5.3 per cent of our state waters. Even worse, the state government have been known to ban any new marine parks, as stated in various government communications.

Victoria was a world leader 20 years ago, but have fallen behind other states since. What we are leading in, is the lowest area of protection of state waters of any other state – not something to be proud of.

The expansion of federal marine protection aligns with the government’s pledge to protect 30 per cent of Australia’s land and 30 per cent of Australia’s oceans by 2030. There will be formal consultation to occur and work to be done to make sure it delivers the conservation protections (and enough no-take area) this area deserves, but this is a great start.

We’d like to see the same kind of commitment from our state. The community pushed hard to protect our coastline twenty years ago. We can do it again.

Read more on Macquarie Island Marine Park here. And more about Macquarie Island here.

For more detail on the relationships with fishing activity in this federal marine park, and for an insight into state marine parks listen to this interview on Radio National:

Ask for more marine protection in Victoria

Want to be kept up to date about this and other nature issues in Victoria? Subscribe to our email updates.