NSW government unveils 'sustainable boating' plans

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Draft Marine Estate Management Strategy now available for comment.

The NSW government has released its draft Marine Estate Management Strategy which will determine how the state's waterways are managed over the next 10 years.

The draft strategy is available for comment here and submissions can be made until 8 December 2017.

The draft plan addresses a number of topics such as sustainable fishing and aquaculture, reducing impacts on wildlife and planning for a changing climate but of main interest to the industry is the section on 'Enabling safe and sustainable boating' which looks at some of the environmental, social, cultural and economic threats in relation to boating.

Key threats, as identified earlier this year in the Threat and Risk Assessment (TARA) report, include the impact of boating on areas of seagrass, wildlife disturbance from boating activity and vessel collisions, and a range of pollutants “particularly copper pollutions and antifouling paints”.

In terms of social, cultural and economic impacts, the plan identifies the lack of access infrastructure affecting “participation, enjoyment and the viability of businesses” as well as “inadequate, inefficient regulation and over-regulation” by government agencies.

Most of the management actions contained in the plan in response to these threats build on existing programs such as the Moorings Review and Boating Now program, or are aimed at addressing issues through education and improving data collection and monitoring.

The plan also proposes partnering with industry “to investigate a pilot program at marinas in NSW to design and install sump drain run-off handling systems with sediment traps”.

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