Pew confirms it has no understanding of WA marine park science

Photo: Australian Marine Parks

While filling the pages with beautiful imagery of leafy sea dragons and pristine marine environments backed by Disney-like rhetoric, Pew Charitable Trust’s latest attempt to mislead the Western Australian public highlights the US eco-lobby group’s lack of science, and lack of understanding about even the most basic of Western Australia’s marine park settings.

That’s probably because the Pew group lives in luxury on the other side of the world.

Even more puzzling is why the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) has so tightly shackled itself to this US-based eco-lobby group.

While having no basis in marine science, Pew has come out to propose that the “gold standard” for sanctuary zones is 30 per cent. This is despite national marine science groups in its own US homeland suggesting three per cent is closer to the mark. Why let science get in the way of a good myth.

Then Pew runs a full-page ad in the West Australian stating “right now there is no marine protection in our state waters.”

Two things are wrong here. Firstly, more than 50 per cent of our state waters are marine protected. Secondly, it is our state waters, not yours. Your waters are in the US.

You can read the full story in this week’s ProWest, which also shows that despite Pew’s ill-informed claims, sanctuary zones don’t always deliver environmental benefits, and we are seeing that right now, right here in WA sanctuary zones.


The Western Australian Fishing Industry Council is the peak industry body representing professional fishing, pearling and aquaculture enterprises, processors and exporters in Western Australia.