News

Want to know where the major parties stand on protecting our Top End Coasts?

Our 2016 Election Promise Tracker breaks down the marine and coastal policy commitments made by the major parties.

NT's Legacy of Environmental Failure Hits the Coast

A searing new report points to repeated failures by NT governments to establish and maintain credible protections of the Territory’s marine and coastal environment. The report, prepared for the Keep Top End Coasts Healthy alliance, identifies poor decision-making, inadequate laws, a lack of transparency and incompetent oversight and regulation has already had a disastrous effect on areas of the coast. The report recommends a complete overhaul of environmental assessment laws, an end to the clearing of mangroves, and requiring public participation in decision-making. Read the full Health Check Report - Click Here

NT Labor backing marine protection

In the lead up to the Territory election, Labor has announced a Coastal and Marine Management Strategy. It’s good news for fishers, tourism, small business and the environment! The plan includes completion of the Limmen Bight Marine Park and its seabed mining ban, re-establishment of the Darwin Harbour Advisory Committee, rejection of the Bayview development and measures to research and protect our mangroves. But we want to guarantee all Territorians benefit from marine protection. To do this, we need to see a similar commitment from all sides of politics. Read more from ABC News, Channel Nine, and NT News. Read our media release below.    

Increased Trawling in the NT

Representatives from the commercial fishing industry, recreational fishers, tourism operators and conservationists came together to express concerns regarding the impacts of finfish trawling in the Northern Territory. Read the Australian Marine Conservation Society's full media release below or on Channel Nine News Darwin and the ABC.

Port Melville Approved Despite Expert Advice on Impact to Wildlife

Freedom of Information documents show the controversial Port Melville on the Tiwi Islands was approved by the Federal Government despite internal advice it was likely to have adverse impacts on a number of our threatened species, including shorebirds, dugongs and olive ridley turtles. It was also approved with no written procedures on how to shutdown supply from 30 million litre diesel tanks or deal with major spills if needed. The Port was built to withstand a category two cyclone, yet Elcho Island further east along the NT coastline suffered from a category four cyclone in 2015 and the old Port Melville was destroyed by a cyclone in 2007. Read the full article by the ABC here or by The Australian here.

Let's Flock Together

The dragonflies have arrived! Their arrival signals the dispersal of dramatic clouds, the conclusion of the wet season and the departure of up to 37 migratory shorebirds who call the Top End home in summer. Fancy yourself a world traveler? Our yearly temporary residents may challenge you to that title. Their north-south 11,000 km journey along the East Asian-Australian flyway traverses 23 countries: from their northern breeding areas in Russia and the USA (Alaska), via China, Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, to Australia and New Zealand. Our visitors lose up to 40% of their body weight during their long-haul flight, which makes feeding areas here in the Territory, and along their route, of vital importance.

Every Little Bit Makes a Difference!

It was a Saturday night and because I had no food for dinner at home, I ran to the supermarket for my weekly shop. The pre-packaged sushi was discounted and seemed like a great, quick and easy meal idea - until I opened the plastic packaging. Hidden behind the price label was ginger in a plastic wrapper, wasabi in a plastic sachet and soy sauce in plastic foil. So much plastic, and even worse - it was all single-use! I couldn’t reuse it and I’m sceptical of whether they could be or would be recycled. As a coastal-lifestyle enthusiast, I only hope they don’t end up in our seas.

A Hole Full of Fish

When I first discovered that swimming in the Top End seas was a rare activity, I was dismayed. I have spent the past five years living and diving from Indonesian and Mozambican beaches almost every day. I wondered how I’d cope without my daily dose of vitamin sea and sealife! I’d heard about the Top End’s infamous crocodiles, stingers and limited visibility. So it was with some trepidation that I packed my fins, mask and snorkel for my first adventure into local waters. When we arrived at a blue hole near the Vernon Islands off Gunn Point I was delighted to find clear waters and none of the aforementioned crocodiles or stingers. Appreciating my good fortune with conditions I couldn’t wait to jump in and explore.

Celebrating World Wetlands Day

Squelchy mud. Tangled roots. Hot. Humid. Wet. Mangroves aren’t the most inviting ecosystem. But after a talk by our friends at EcoScience to celebrate World Wetlands Day, I’m definitely interested to take the plunge and learn more. “Mangrove” refers to the habitat as well as the plants that live between the sea and land, flooded by sea tides. A mangrove may be a tree, a shrub, a palm, or a fern, but all of them are able to tolerate excess salt and air-less soils, coming together to form mangrove forests along coastlines, rivers and estuaries.

Disgraceful announcement by Environment Minister, Greg Hunt

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is outraged by the Australian Government’s decision that Port Melville marine supply base does not require an environmental impact assessment. Read our joint media release below. While the rest of the world is protecting their oceans, both the Territory and Australian governments are full steam ahead industrialising our Top End seas. Our Northern Territory waters are some of the last pristine waters on earth. Our marine life is extraordinary with many species of national and international significance whose range and distribution are largely limited to our healthy waters.  We have an incredibly diverse collection of sea life and habitats. Marine species are still being identified and described here in the Top End. Port Melville marine supply base will operate to service the offshore oil and gas industry. The chance of environmental catastrophe is very high with 30 million litres of fuel sitting on the water’s edge in a cyclone prone area. A full environmental impact assessment should be the bare minimum required for such a massive scale operation. This decision has the potential to alter the health of our pristine waters forever. It is not only our environment at risk, but also our Territory lifestyle. Here in the Northern Territory, we need to ensure that our Top End seas and iconic places are managed sustainably. Developments of this scale require proper environmental impact assessments. This decision clearly highlights the inadequate environmental standards of the Territory and Australian governments. Contact your local MP and raise your concerns about this development! Call for strong protection for our marine life and way of life.

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