Milestone for Kimberley marine park

Found in: News

The future of one of the Kimberley's most important marine parks is secure with the release today of the final management plan for Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the plan ensured the marine park would be a jointly managed place where wildlife could continue to thrive, where Aboriginal culture and heritage were recognised and conserved and where recreation and tourism could be supported.

"Covering more than 200,000 hectares, the marine park is the thirteenth to be established in Western Australia and the second park to be reserved under the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy," Mr Jacob said.

"Importantly, it is the first marine park in the State to include special purpose zones for the recognition and protection of sites which have Aboriginal cultural significance.

"It will be jointly managed with the Ngarla, Nyangumarta and Karajarri traditional owners, with Nyangumarta and Ngarla traditional owners today signing joint management agreements for the park with the Department of Parks and Wildlife."

The marine park is a 220 kilometre stretch of remote and remarkable coastal country between Port Hedland and Broome, stretching from Cape Missiessy to Cape Keraudren.

"It is one of the world's most important feeding grounds for migratory shorebirds and is recognised as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands," the Minister said.

"The park is a major nesting site for flatback turtles, which are only found in northern Australia. These are critical components of the Eighty Mile Beach Ramsar site and the management plan seeks to maintain this ecological character."

The park also provides for recreation and tourism, and recreational and commercial fishing.

The plan is available from http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/parks/management-plans/approved-management-plans#eightymile

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