26 September 2023

New mapping tool for marine park future

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The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is urging south coast communities to go online and discover a new mapping tool that is capturing information on how the area is used.

The South Coast Marine Values Mapper has been developed by the Department in partnership with social researchers at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and traditional owners from the Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (ETNTAC).

In a statement, the Department said the mapper would help inform planning and future management of the proposed South Coast Marine Park, including marine park zoning.

“An additional partnership project between ETNTAC and UWA has tailored the tool for use by traditional owners to map a wide range of cultural values occurring in the area, which ETNTAC can then contribute to the planning process in its role as joint management partners,” it said.

Minister for the Environment, Reece Whitby said the mapping tool was a great way for people to record how they currently used the proposed South Coast Marine Park.

“It’s easy to register all types of engagement within this beautiful coastal environment, whether it’s going swimming at your favourite beach, bird watching, sailing around picturesque islands or going fishing,” Mr Whitby said.

“Understanding how people use and value their local coast and marine environment is critical in designing marine parks, which help protect ecological and cultural values while also continuing to support sustainable resource use such as commercial and recreational fishing,” he said.

The South Coast Marine Values Mapper can be accessed at this PS News link.

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