The Victorian National Parks Association has welcomed the release of the State of the Bays Report as a critical first step in securing the good health of our marine environments.
“Port Phillip Bay and Westernport are under increasing pressure as the populations of Melbourne, Geelong and the bays’ catchments continue to grow,” the VNPA’s marine and coastal campaigner Chris Smyth said today.
“As a result, urban and industrial development, climate change, introduced marine pests, fishing and shipping will continue to threaten the health of the bays.
“By synthesising the available scientific data and identifying key environmental issues, health indicators and knowledge gaps, the report will hopefully motivate decision makers to do the right thing by our bays.
“Successive governments have failed to establish a comprehensive and integrated research and monitoring regime for Victoria’s marine environments. This report is a wake-up call – the time to do it is now.
“The 2016 State of the Bays report, and those that follow every five years, will be vital for the future planning, protection and management of Victoria’s marine environments.
“The Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Victoria and the government are to be congratulated on producing the first State of the Bays report, one we expect will evolve into a regular health assessment of all marine environments in Victoria.”