A new partnership between the Western Port Biosphere and OzFish Unlimited will open up new opportunities to build awareness of the Western Port Biosphere Reserve’s environmental significance and encourage behaviours that will protect its marine ecosystems for future generations.
The OzFish partnership will extend the Biosphere Foundation’s reach beyond its resident communities and deliver important environmental information and advice to millions of boating enthusiasts and recreational fishers who annually visit the reserve.
Both organisations share similar values, founded on a shared vision to ensure local communities and visitors are well informed and equipped to enjoy one of Australia’s most alluring regions while sustaining it for the future.
Western Port Biosphere Reserve Foundation CEO, Mel Barker, said the human population within the reserve grew in multiples over holiday seasons, applying substantial pressure to fragile ecosystems.
“Western Port has become a mecca for recreational anglers, attracted by improved fishing experiences that have benefitted from recent changes to fisheries management in the Bay and will continue to improve with better habitat,” she said.
“Until now, the Biosphere Foundation has had limited communication with the recreational boating and fishing community and we’re keen to expand the awareness of its significance.
“These new partnerships will open up channels of communication to new audiences and be a great basis for more tangible collaborations and advocacy to improve the strategic planning and deliver the on-the-water projects that will enable us to meet our moral and legal obligations to protect internationally significant habitat like Western Port’s Ramsar wetlands.”
OzFish CEO and Founder, Craig Copeland, has been a recognised leading advocate for fish habitat conservation and restoration for over 30 years.
“Recreational fishing and boating is huge in Western Port and the new generation of fishers understand that looking after their waterway is how to secure the future quantity, quality and diversity of the fish caught in the Bay,” he said.
“OzFish is growing its programs and engagement activities aimed at restoring the ecosystems that have established Western Port as one of Australia’s premier fishing destinations.
“Our partnership with the Biosphere Foundation will add to the depth and breadth of future work and campaigns. We appreciate that Western Port is an iconic location, not just for fishers, but has international UNESCO and Ramsar recognition as a unique place.”
With the completion of its brand refresh program, the Biosphere Foundation will be working with OzFish and other partners to roll out communications to help as many people as possible understand the steps they can take to enjoy the reserve’s marine environment while minimising pressure or lasting impact on its ecosystems.
If you would like to know more about the project or get involved become a member of OzFish at www.ozfish.org.au or phone 1800 431 308.
OzFish Unlimited is a national environmental conservation charity established to improve the health of our rivers, lakes and estuaries. It is a member-based organisation dedicated to make our fishing grounds healthy, vibrant and more productive. Their active work includes; habitat restoration such as resnagging, riverbank planting, clean-ups, fishways, shellfish reefs and educational and community capacity building programs.
If you would like further information about the project or to interview Mel Barker or Craig Copeland, please contact OzFish Unlimited Communications Manager Paul Suttor
0421 491 229 | firstname.lastname@example.org