Manly’s Cabbage Tree Bay is well known for the diversity and abundance of aquatic wildlife it supports. The marine reserve is protected by ‘no-take’ fishing regulations, and subsequently serves as a haven for several protected fish species.

The regulations protecting Cabbage Tree Bay are seen by many across NSW as an ideal model which could be applied to a number of other marine areas. The notion has triggered a recent review of current state legislation which affects marine park zoning and plans.

Eco Diver member and avid environmentalist, Dave Thomas, recommends a minimum of 20 per cent of the NSW coast become critical habitat areas with enforced ‘no-take’ protection status. Moreover, Eco Divers have suggested the establishment of a marine protection agency to facilitate compliance in protection zones.

Abundant marine life is intrinsic to the vitality of aquatic ecosystems however commercial and recreational fishing significantly contributes to biodiversity loss in our oceans. Government implementation of strategic and more robust measures to safeguard marine life is critical to ensure populations are sustained.

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