04/19/2012 - The State Government has announced it will create a new marine park in the Kimberley.
Premier Colin Barnett and Environment Minister Bill Marmion today said the Government would create Camden Sound Marine Park, about 300km north-east of Broome to help protect humpback whales.
“Camden Sound, covering nearly 7000 sqkm is the first of four new marine parks to be created under the $63 million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy,” Mr Barnett said.
“Other parks will be created at Eighty Mile Beach, Roebuck Bay and the North Kimberley,” he said.
Mr Marmion said a special purpose zone would be created covering about 1670 sqkm to enhance protection of the humpback whale calving grounds.
The Pew Environment Group said the announcement had moved the region a step closer to becoming an international tourism and conservation icon alongside the Great Barrier Reef.
"Sanctuaries are critical for protecting feeding and breeding areas and an estimated 22,000 mothers and baby whales now have a safe and secure home during WA’s winter months," director of the Pew Environment Group’s Oceans to Outback Program Barry Traill said.
"The opportunity now exists to create a Great Kimberley Marine Park, jointly managed by Traditional Owners, which would establish the waters along the Kimberley coast as an international icon for tourism and conservation alongside the world famous Great Barrier Reef."
The WA Government’s announcement of the new Camden Sound Marine Park provides further evidence for the Federal Government to finalise its plans for a network of marine protected areas in deeper waters away from the coast, Dr Traill said.
Read the full article, Marine Park Plan for Kimberley, on the West Australian's website.