Revised draft zoning plan – submission to the solitary islands marine park (SIMP), Mar 2002

6 March 2002


formerly Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population (AESP)

PO Box 297


Ph: 02 6235 5488 (bh)

Fax: 02 6235 5499



Dr Paul Collins

Prof Frank Fenner

Prof Tim Flannery

Prof Ian Lowe

Dr Mary White


Manager – Ms Libby Sterling

Solitary Islands Marine Park

PO Box J297


Dear Ms Sterling


Re: Revised draft zoning plan for the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP)

On behalf of Sustainable Population Australia, a national community-based environmental organisation, I wish to make the following comments on the revised draft zoning plan for the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

We are deeply concerned that the grey nurse shark (Carcharius taurus) is critically endangered, largely because of encroachment of fishermen into its habitat. Thus we call for full protection of its remaining habitats and duly support the recommendations made to you by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW inc and the National Parks Association inc. These recommendations are:

  • increase the “no-take” sanctuary zones in the SIMP from 11 per cent to 25 per cent
  • reinstate the original 30 per cent of rocky shore protection
  • grant full protection to the pinnacle reef habitat known as ‘The Wash’ to ensure that all representative habitats within the SIMP are protected
  • protect at least 25 per cent of off-shore reef in “no-take” sanctuary zones
  • protect a further 500 metres radius surrounding all fringing reef islands
  • give priority to protecting the following grey nurse habitats:

* Anemone Bay at North Solitary Island

* Manta Arch at South Solitary Island

* E Gutters at North West Solitary Island, and

* Split Solitary Island

  • adopt the following principles:

* adopt a minimum size of sanctuary zone of 20 km along its smallest dimension

* have larger versus smaller sanctuary areas

* have sufficient replication

* include unique places eg. significant spawning areas

* capture cross-shelf and latitudinal diversity

  • adopt three transect zones as defined by the NCC and NPA (northern, central and southern).

All these measures will ultimately prove fruitless, however, if human population and development continues to grow significantly in the region. Recreational and commercial fishermen largely exist to feed themselves, their families or the wider community. Stabilising population growth and coastal development in the region, and ultimately the number of local fishermen, will be the most effective tool in protecting the habitat of a number of species, but primarily the grey nurse shark. It would be a tragedy of enormous proportions, were it to become extinct.


Yours sincerely

Jenny Goldie

National director

Sustainable Population Australia


Scroll to Top