Sunday 18 October 2009

Queensland marine mammal protection laws under review


The Queensland Government has released a discussion paper seeking public comment on the review of its marine mammal protection legislation. The discussion paper addresses the three marine mammal groups that are most abundant in Queensland waters; whales, dolphins and dugong.

More than 30 marine mammal species are to be found in the state's waters, from widely distributed bottlenose dolphins to the recently discovered snubfin dolphin (pictured) to the recovering population of humpback whales. Some species are to be found all year round while others are seasonal visitors. The new legislation needs to address their varied habitat requirements, natural histories, current status and threats as well as their cultural significance to traditional owners of our country.

In a media release on 29 September, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Kate Jones, acknowledged the government's "great responsibility to safeguard these animals from as many threats as possible".

The discussion paper can be found at the Department of Environment and Resource Management website at:
(www.epa.qld.gov.au/nature_conservation/wildlife/marine_mammal_conservation_plan_review).

The closing date for submissions is 13 November 2009.



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