As part of the marine bioregional planning process, the Australian Government is developing a national network of marine reserves in Commonwealth waters. The development of the marine reserves is being guided by the Goals and Principles for the Establishment of the National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas in Commonwealth Waters. These Goals and Principles provide a consistent framework for identifying new marine reserves, including a requirement to minimise the socio-economic impacts of new marine reserves on commercial fishers and others who use marine resources.
In order to achieve good conservation outcomes, it may not always be possible to avoid impacts on some industries/businesses in establishing new Commonwealth marine reserves. The government has released a policy that sets out how it will address commercial fishing activities that may be displaced by new Commonwealth marine reserves, and flow-on impacts on fishing-dependent communities.
Before decisions are taken on how the Fisheries Adjustment Policy will be implemented, a social and economic assessment of the proposed Commonwealth marine reserves network will be completed. The evaluation will be done with input from, and in consultation with, the potentially affected industry sectors and the relevant fisheries management agencies.