The NSW Government, through the newly formed NSW Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA), is implementing a new approach to sustainable management of the NSW marine estate, wherein the estate is to be managed as a single continuous system.
The NSW Marine Estate includes all marine waters, estuaries and coastal areas, including the State’s six marine parks. The new approach is designed to reduce social conflict and improve effective management of coastal and marine resources beyond existing marine park boundaries. A key focus of the initiative is maximising current and future economic, social and environmental benefits.
A risk management framework is being used to assess and prioritise the social, cultural, economic and environmental threats to community benefits derived from the entire NSW marine estate and to inform future management responses at varying scales. BMT WBM are facilitating the detailed evidence-based risk analysis phase at both the state-wide and Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion scales.
MEMA comprises representation from the four main government agencies involved in marine estate management and an independent Chair. An independent Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel (MEEKP) has also been appointed to provide expert advice spanning ecological, economic and social sciences. MEEKP provides advice to the Authority on any marine estate matters referred to it by the Authority.