Marine park management planning

A new approach

A new approach to marine park management planning is underway across the five mainland marine parks in NSW.

Building on pilot work that started in Batemans and Port Stephens-Great Lakes marine parks in 2018-19, the new approach aims to conserve environmental, social, cultural and economic values, and manage priority threats to those values.

New plans will be developed in accordance with the Marine Estate Management Act 2014 and must state:

  • environmental, economic and social values to be conserved by the marine park
  • threats to those values
  • management objectives in relation to those values and threats
  • actions to achieve those management objectives, based on a consideration of risks
  • programs to be implemented for managing the marine park.

Draft management plans will include a range of actions to conserve values and manage threats, including research, education, on-ground rehabilitation, infrastructure, compliance, policy, partnerships and regulation. Actions will be based on the best available knowledge and evidence. Regulation (including zoning) will be one of many actions considered.

A strong foundation

The new approach is building on a strong evidence-base including the:

Building the plan with the community

The local knowledge and advice of the community will be essential to ensure new management plans are based on the best available information and can deliver effective management of marine parks.

DPI Fisheries is working with marine park advisory committees, the Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel and all relevant government agencies to better understand values, threats, objectives and actions for the five mainland marine parks. Draft management plans will be built from this initial information and then enhanced with advice and evidence from key stakeholders and the broader community via public consultation.

The Marine Estate Management Act 2014 requires a minimum two-month community consultation period for draft management plans, and a further two-month community consultation period for any proposed changes to management rules.

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Lord Howe Island Marine Park

Lord Howe Island Marine Park has many unique values, issues and management arrangements. A management plan for this marine park will be developed after management planning for the five NSW mainland marine parks has been  progressed.

More information

More information on the new approach is available in the following publications:

Page last updated/reviewed: 19 Jan 2021