Three marinas in Sydney’s north have today been awarded ‘Fish Friendly’ accreditation by The Hon. Rob Stokes, Member for Pittwater and NSW Minister for the Environment.
The presentation was held at The Quays Marina, Church Point which together with the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC), Newport and Empire Marina Bobbin Head, located in the Ku-ring-gai National Park was recognised with the accreditation.
Fish Friendly accreditation is an information campaign and accreditation system focusing on marina fish habits and developed by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in collaboration with the Marina Industries Association (MIA) and the NSW Boating Industry Association (BIA).
The initiative is attached to MIA’s International Clean Marinas Program and is available to marinas across the Asia Pacific region. Additional fish friendly criteria and an audit are requirements to achieve Fish Friendly Marina accreditation. There are now 11 marinas recognised as ‘Fish Friendly’ in Australia with several more in the process of accreditation at present. The initiative has received positive support from numerous government departments and authorities across Australia.
'Marinas can provide important habitat for fish. The Fish Friendly Marinas program has been developed to inform marina managers on how to maximise benefits for fish, and recognise those operators actively working to improve fish habitat,' Mr Stokes said.
'I congratulate these three facilities today which all hold Level 3 International Clean Marina status on their significant commitment to protecting and preserving their valuable marine habitat and communicating their efforts to customers and visitors.'
MIA Vice President and Director of Empire Marina, Darren Vaux said the initiative is an important development. '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.'
Suzanne Davies, RPAYC General Manager and MIA Director commented, 'The RPAYC will continue to support the MIA in these very important programs which demonstrate the industry's commitment to sustainable practices. The MIA leads the industry in developing consistent best practice management of the waterways in which marinas operate and the RPAYC is very proud to uphold such practices.'
Stephen Hosking, Marina Manager at The Quays Marina said, 'We are proud to be accredited with this exciting new environmental initiative at The Quays and along with RPAYC and Empire Marina, are committed to ensuring our marinas are of the highest environmental standard through participation in programs such as Clean Marinas. We have all fully embraced the opportunity to meet the Fish Friendly criteria.' Mr Hosking said.