Australian Marinas such as Soldiers Point Marina in Port Stephens on the NSW north coast have implemented a “Fish Friendly Marina” program. It's an information campaign and accreditation system developed by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in collaboration with the Marina Industries Association (MIA) and the NSW Boating Industry Association (BIA). Other Australian marinas are also getting onboard and becoming environmentally friendly.
The initiative forms part of the MIA's Clean Marinas Program of which Soldiers Point Marina has achieved the highest level possible: Level 4 (ISO 14001), a world standard for environmental management systems. In fact the Marina has recently regained accreditation for ISO 14001 as part of an annual process.
“We continue to place a high emphasis on our environment and take the new Fish Friendly Marina accreditation very seriously” said Darrell Barnett CMM, Marina Manager. “We believe that we are at the forefront of Australian Marinas in environmental achievements” said Mr Barnett.
“We welcome our valued customers and the general public to our marina to learn about our many local native fish and their natural habitat.” he said.
Australian marinas Fish Friendly Program
This new initiative for Australian marinas focuses on marina fish habit and was launched in Sydney at d’Albora Marina Rushcutters Bay by the NSW Government Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson. She said Fish Friendly Marinas is an information campaign and accreditation system developed by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in collaboration with MIA and BIA.
Minister Hodgkinson said “marinas can provide important habitat for fish. Fish Friendly Marinas has been developed to inform marina managers on how to maximise the benefits for fish and recognise those operators actively working to improve fish habitat. Fish Friendly Marinas program provides advice and supporting material to help marina operators incorporate beneficial outcomes for native fish into their existing operational plans, such as ensuring their marina is free from marine pests and providing habitat for native fish. A ‘10 Tips’ publication has also been produced to inform operators and help them communicate their efforts to customers and visitors.” The Minister also announced that d’Albora Marina Rushcutters Bay is the first accredited Fish Friendly Marina.
The initiative is attached to MIA’s International Clean Marinas Program. Additional fish friendly criteria and an audit are requirements to achieve Fish Friendly Marina accreditation.
MIA Executive Officer Colin Bransgrove said the initiative is an important development for Australian and international marinas. “It is essential marinas continue to set the highest environmental standards. Marinas are the ideal location for many community members to see and learn about native fish and the aquatic environment. Clean Marinas and the Fish Friendly accreditation add-on demonstrate that industry, with support from government, is best able to set the standards that meet and exceed community and government expectations.”
d’Albora Marinas CEO Marcus Anketell said it was an honour to be named the first Fish Friendly Marina in Australia. “We are delighted to be launching this exciting new environmental initiative at d’Albora Marinas Rushcutters Bay. d’Albora Marinas are committed to ensuring our marinas are of the highest environmental standard through participation in programs such as Clean Marinas. d’Albora Marina Rushcutters Bay has fully embraced the opportunity to meet the Fish Friendly criteria and subsequently be recognised as the first marina to be accredited as Fish Friendly.”