Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation
    The Honourable Andrew McNamara

    Moreton Bay to be protected to assure future fishermen a catch!


    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation
    The Honourable Andrew McNamara

    Monday, December 03, 2007

    Moreton Bay to be protected to assure future fishermen a catch!

    Future generations of fishers will be guaranteed a viable catch if the draft plan for Moreton Bay is adopted, Premier Anna Bligh said yesterday.

    “Everyone in South East Queensland loves Moreton Bay and this new conservation plan will help ensure we protect it for future generations to enjoy, while continuing to be able to fish and enjoy the extraordinary beauty and diversity the Bay offers us all,” the Premier said.

    Premier Anna Bligh, said the draft Moreton Bay Marine Park Zoning Plan follows months of consultation and scientific investigation.

    “Importantly, recreational fishers will continue to have access to 85 percent of Moreton Bay Marine Park under the draft zoning plan,” the Premier said.

    “The Bay will always be open to recreational fishing, crabbing and netters; people will always be able to fish from jetties, rock walls, marinas and other popular spots including the vast majority of beaches that fringe Moreton Bay.

    “Over the past eight months we have received 6,500 submissions and held 94 community and stakeholder meetings to discuss this vital issue with everyone with an interest in Moreton Bay.

    “Given how important the Bay is to so many of us, it is not good enough that less than one percent is currently protected by ‘green zones’.

    “The expansion of green zones to almost 15 percent of the total bay area will help ensure the future of this internationally significant marine environment, which supports more than 750 species of fish and 120 species of coral.


    Area (ha)

    % of Marine Park

    Marine National Park Zone



    Conservation Park Zone



    Habitat Protection Zone



    General Use Zone





    “An expert panel including marine scientists and an economist have helped with the process, and thorough consultation has occurred with marine park users.

    “The proposed zones have been designed to minimise impacts on all Moreton Bay users as much as possible,” Ms Bligh said.

    “I think this draft strikes the right balance between the protection of jobs and recreational activities with the protection of Moreton Bay for the future and for the wildlife that depend upon it,” Ms Bligh said.

    Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, Andrew McNamara, said the draft zoning plan heeds scientific advice and takes account of community input.

    Mr McNamara said the Queensland Government acknowledges that the draft zoning plan includes potential impacts on the commercial fishing industry.

    “To help fishers adjust to any impacts arising from the final zoning plan, we will establish the Moreton Bay Marine Park Structural Adjustment Package,” Mr McNamara said.

    “This package, valued at up to $14 million, will be administered by the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority.

    “Recreational and commercial fishers will be pleased to know that the draft plan we are releasing today shows significant alignment with green zones proposed by the Moreton Bay Access Alliance to the tune of 70 percent.

    “The science tells us that green zones conserve ecosystems and help them develop resilience to deal with stresses such as the effects of urban development and climate change.

    “Community members have told us what they value most about the marine park, and how they use different areas.

    “This scientific and community input has helped in the development of this draft zoning plan that protects a small amount of key habitat areas in a way that reduces impacts for the community as much as possible.

    “Another consideration in the draft zoning plan is aquaculture and the draft plan recognises that oyster growing and some other forms of aquaculture are suitable for Moreton Bay Marine Park, but it prohibits any feed-based aquaculture.”

    Mr McNamara said the draft plan also proposes:
    • introducing no-anchoring areas to protect important coral reef habitats,
    • extending some existing “go-slow” areas, and
    • introducing a new go slow category for vessels over 8 metres in the southern Moreton Bay area to help reduce impacts on dugong and turtles.

    “All of these proposals are open for further discussion. This draft zoning plan is a significant investment in our future; helping to build resilience in a marine environment that needs to cope with the pressures of being on the doorstep of Australia’s fastest growing capital city.”

    Mr McNamara encouraged people to have their say on the draft zoning plan before submissions close on 7 March next year.

    The draft zoning plan can be viewed on line at the EPA website, or people can phone 1800 105 789 to request a copy. Submissions can also be made via the website or a submission form.

    No changes will come into affect until the end of 2008. Public education campaigns will be run to ensure everyone fully understands the final plan before it is implemented.

    Media contact:
    Premier’s office – 3224 4500;
    Minister’s office – 3336 8004