Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary Proposal

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Tel +61395891802, +61429176725 ggd@netspace.net.au www.vicnet.net.au/~phillip18 Anita Street, BEAUMARIS VIC 3193 A0020093K Victoria ABN 46 291 176 191 21st February 2000
The Executive Officer Environment Conservation Council 3rd Floor, 250 Victoria Parade EAST MELBOURNE VIC 3002

Dear Sir or Madam,  Comments on ECC’s ‘Marine Coastal & Estuarine Investigation Draft Report December 1999’    Port Phillip Conservation Council Inc, a federation of 15 conservation organizations around Port Phillip, provides the following comments on the above Draft Report, concentrating on the matters relating to Port Phillip.  We support and approve the proposals for the recommended Point Cook Marine National Park A4, the Jawbone and Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuaries B7 and B8, and the Clifton Springs and Capel Sound Marine Special Management Areas D7 and D8. We look forward to constructive proposals for a Park or Parks at the Heads.  Recommended Aquaculture Zones: We note that Section 7.4, ‘Principles for selection and management of marine aquaculture areas’, includes four principles we consider are each significantly infringed by the proposals for the Beaumaris E4, Mount Martha E5 and Dromana E6 Aquaculture Zones, each of which we oppose. Those three recommended large zones, which are very large expansions of the small existing ‘Trojan Horse’ sites there, are just off high coastlines from which they are very visible. The same objections do not apply to some of the proposed sites on the west side of Port Phillip. These three coastlines are widely regarded as having great scenic and natural landscape and seascape values that are obviously degraded by the unpleasant industrial-type seascape created, both during the day and night, by the alien element of large arrays of aquaculture floats and markers.  The three areas are also areas of high real estate value and visitor interest, based on their desirable location near fine coastal landscapes and seascapes. That value and interest is much more likely to be reduced than increased by the presence of the proposed activities and related structures, which would also significantly restrict and interfere with the recreational boating that is an economically important attraction in these areas. As aquaculture requires access to landing areas, interaction with transport vehicles there, and parking of such vehicles, extra pressure would be placed on the nearby coastlines, which are already completely unsuitable for such extra pressure. The present 6 ha Beaumaris Aquaculture Zone shows the disadvantages these operations cause, and its unsuitability is even more marked, under your principles, because of its proximity to the proposed Marine Sanctuary B8 and the nearby Beaumaris Fossil Site, of great visitor interest, which has just been included in the Register of the National Estate. The present Keefers base, already without any possible vehicle access or parking, is quite unsuitable for the role it plays, and it should not be placed under more pressure. Floating markers and other large rubbish from the array is constantly being lodged among rocks below the Beaumaris Cliff. A former PPCC Inc. Vice-President has dived on the seabed near and under the present Beaumaris Aquaculture Zone, and he said he was appalled by the marine desert under it resulting from a very high concentration of dead shellfish shells, and rubbish produced by the degrading components of the floating array, falling onto the seabed and accumulating all over it, and detritus produced by the intensive nature of constant large scale mussel feeding and defaecation.  Yours sincerely, Geoffrey Goode President, Port Phillip Conservation Council Inc.