Save Our Tropical Sealife is an alliance of conservation groups working to ensure the tropical sea life of Australia’s north and north west is fully protected in a world-class network of large marine sanctuaries from Kalbarri (WA) to the tip of Cape York (Qld).
The Commonwealth waters that lie offshore in the Ningaloo-Pilbara, Kimberley, Top End, and Gulf regions harbour iconic underwater treasures of global significance and provide a home to much-loved species including snubfin dolphins, dugong, whales and sea turtles. Yet less than 1% of these tropical seas are fully protected.
These regions support one of the last intact, large tropical marine ecosystems on the planet. A global analysis of human impacts on the marine environment rated Northern Australia as one of the only relatively pristine coastal areas left on Earth.
While Traditional Owners of this coast have an intimate knowledge of their sea country developed over countless generations, scientists are only now beginning to understand the staggering breadth of wildlife that lives here.
Until recently, the remoteness of these waters protected tropical sealife from threats felt elsewhere, but increasing pressure from fishing, and the massive expansion of the oil and gas industry are threatening the long-term future of these underwater icons.
Large marine sanctuaries
With increasing human pressure on the world’s tropical marine environments, Australia has a global responsibility to protect these tropical sea treasures.
Effectively protected, our Ningaloo-Pilbara, Kimberley, Top End and Gulf waters will be a global haven that helps safeguard the world’s endangered sea turtles, vulnerable dugong, rare dolphins, migratory whales, and fragile coral reefs.
The Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke recently announced a proposed network of marine reserves around Australia, including in Australia’s tropical seas to the North and North West of our continent. This is a necessary, important and historic step forward for the protection of Australia’s marine life.
The proposed network of marine reserves across northern Australia is welcome but falls short of fully protecting some important areas of Australia’s globally significant tropical marine environment. Minister Burke has opened this process to public consultation. It is really important that we let him know we support his proposal and to seek some vital improvements to the network. Please write your submission supporting the Australian Government’s Plan to create the largest network of marine reserves on Earth.
For more information contact
- Darren Kindleysides, Director, Australian Marine Conservation Society, email@example.com
- Stuart Blanch, Director, Environment Centre Northern Territory, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emma Bellfield, Kimberley Conservation Project Officer, Environs Kimberley Emma@environskimberley.org.au
- Gavan McFadzean, Northern Australia Campaigner, The Wilderness Society email@example.com
- Michelle Grady, Marine Manager, Pew Environment Group firstname.lastname@example.org
- Paul Gamblin, MPA Manager, WWF-Australia email@example.com
 Halpern et al. (2008) A Global Map of Human Impact on Marine Ecosystems. Science 15 February 2008: Vol. 319 no. 5865 pp. 948-952