A marine sanctuary zone over part of the Five Islands is exactly what marine life needs to ensure it thrives, Wollongong Greens Councillor Cath Blakey said.
Under plans proposed by the State Government, Flinders Islet (Toothbrush Island) would become a sanctuary zone, where fishing of any sort would not be allowed, other than Aboriginal cultural and heritage usage.
The rest of the Five Islands zone would be a “special purpose zone”, where recreational and commercial fishing would be allowed, including spear fishing, taking abalone, and rock lobster fishing. But gathering shells and marine vegetation would be off-limits as the islands are an important seabird habitat.
Ward 2’s Cr Blakey will move for council to support the proposal at Monday’s meeting.
“I’m pleased our local marine icon of Five Islands has been chosen as one of 25 sites along the NSW coastline for secure, lasting protection,” she said.
“Wollongong is a proud coastal council and community with marine resources that are second to none.
“But our oceans and marine life have never been under more pressure from climate disruption, pollution, coastal development and other human impacts.
“Sanctuary zones, together with other protected areas, are essential for healthy oceans, to build resilience in our aquatic environments and help ensure fish for the future.”
Labor’s Wollongong council caucus chair Cr David Brown said he broadly supported the marine park proposal.