ENVIRONMENTAL MEASURES Friends of fish A cluster of marinas in Australia can proudly call themselves ‘Fish Friendly’ under a Clean Marinas addon scheme. Fish Friendly Marinas is an information campaign and accreditation system focusing on marina fish habits. It was developed by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in collaboration with the Marina Industries Association (MIA) and the NSW Boating Industry Association (BIA) and is attached to MIA’s International Clean Marinas Programme. It is available to marinas across the Asia Pacific region. The initiative has received support from numerous government departments and authorities across Australia and is viewed as an important environmental development. “It is essential marinas continue to set the highest environmental standards,” says Darren Vaux, MIA vice president and director of Empire Marina. “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.” Fish Friendly Marinas has been developed to inform marina managers on how to maximise the benefits for fish and to recognise those operators actively working to improve fish habitat. The scheme provides advice and supporting material to help marina operators incorporate beneficial outcomes for native fish into their existing plans by ensuring, for example, that the marina is free from marine pests and provides good habitat for native species. Accreditation is an add-on for marinas with Level 3 Clean Marina A day for clean-up Marina Palma Cuarentena and Marina Port de Mallorca held an environmental day on 31 st October last year as part of an annual awareness campaign promoted by marina operator, IPM Group. With a view to educating customers about environmental impact, specialist divers were employed to detect underwater rubbish and lift it out of the water with the help of the marina crews. Motorcycles, televisions, traffic signals, batteries, shopping carts, a toaster, a fire extinguisher and various loose plastic items were retrieved! Both marinas distributed flyers for a week following the event. These outlined the consequences of dumping plastic in the sea and gave advice on how to help look after the ocean and how to save water and electricity. Andrew Chapman, MIA president (left) and Colin Bransgrove, MIA EO (right) present the Fish Friendly certificate to Matt Hundelby CMM, manager of Gladesville Bridge Marina. The environmental day ended with an evening barbecue for friends and customers. status and requires an independent audit. During the last half of 2014 numbers of accredited marinas rose to 14. New Fish Friendly marinas included The Quays Marina, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Empire Marina Bobbin Head in north Sydney. Sanctuary Cove Marina and Southport Yacht Club in Queensland followed shortly after. In early December, d’Albora Marinas Nelson Bay, The Anchorage Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour International Marina and Gladesville Bridge Marina (GBM) – a significant first in the western reaches of Sydney Harbour – won the approval. Matt Hundleby CMM, marina manager at GBM, said the initiative is an important development and has particular significance for the western harbour and Parramatta River marine environment. “With years of heavy industry polluting their habitat, it is great to see manmade structures such as marinas become home to all sorts of marine life,” he commented. Bill Talbot, director Aquaculture & Aquatic Environment, Primary Industries NSW, is delighted with the level of interest. “The rapid uptake of the Fish Friendly Marinas programme has been exceptional,” he said. “The Marina Industry Association, Boating Industry Association and individual accredited marinas are providing a shining example of industry best practice and environmental stewardship.” 46 www.marinaworld.com - January/February 2015
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