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Whales protected in Kimberley marine park plan

Humpback whale and calf at Lalang-garram / Camden Sound Marine Park
Humpback whale and calf at Lalang-garram / Camden Sound Marine Park Tim Willing

Humpback whale calving grounds will be protected and Aboriginal employment opportunities increased as part of the Lalang-garram / Camden Sound Marine Park Joint Management Agreement, signed today with traditional owners in Derby.

The agreement, between the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) and the Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation, is the first such agreement for any marine park in Western Australia.

It confirms the Liberal National Government’s commitment to managing the park with traditional owners.

In Derby today, Environment Minister Albert Jacob also released the Lalang-garram / Camden Sound Marine Park management plan, the first to be created for a marine park under the State Government’s Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy.

Mr Jacob said the plan outlined a range of strategies to conserve the values of the area, including the southern hemisphere’s biggest humpback whale calving ground.

“As well as protecting the principal calving area of humpback whales, it also is important for conserving flatback and green turtles, snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, dugong, saltwater crocodiles, several species of sawfish and a wide range of marine habitats,” he said.

“The creation of this park, along with other parks under the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy, will not only protect the ocean environment, it will pave the way for training and employment opportunities for traditional owners.

“The Government is negotiating an indigenous land use agreement with the Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation that will provide for a range of further opportunities for the traditional owners to be integrally involved in looking after their country

“These opportunities include support for ranger programs and other employment and training initiatives that will help protect the cultural and environmental values of country.”

The park ultimately will cover more than 7,000 square kilometres (700,000 hectares) once the park boundary is extended to the high water mark.

The Government has provided $10million over four years to DPaW and the Department of Fisheries for park management.  It also is providing $2.2million a year for ongoing management in the years from 2015-16.

Find out more and read the management plan

MEDIA CONTACT: Minister’s office - 6552 5800

Last modified on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 08:35