Save Our Marine Life
|Method||Lobbying, Research, Activism|
|Website||Save Our Marine Life official website|
Save Our Marine Life (SOML) is an Australian not-for-profit, non-governmental environmental advocacy organisation working to protect and secure Australia’s unique marine life. It is a collaboration of 25 non-profit conservation organisations, both Australian and international. SOML was initially founded in February 2009 to raise awareness of the need for the Australian Government to establish a network of large marine sanctuaries in the country’s South West waters. In 2014 SOML became a national campaign when the Abbott Coalition Government suspended the federal network of marine sanctuaries. Although they were created in 2012 after a decade of science and overwhelming community support, the sanctuaries remain on hold while the Abbott Government conducts a review.
As of December 2014, the collaborating groups include:
- Australian Conservation Foundation
- Australian Marine Conservation Society
- Conservation Council of Western Australia
- Cairns and Far North Environment Centre
- Conservation Council of WA
- Conservation Council of South Australia
- Environment Centre of the Northern Territory
- Environment Tasmania
- Environment Victoria
- Environs Kimberley
- Greenpeace Asia Pacific
- Humane Society International
- International Fund for Animal Welfare
- National Parks Association of NSW
- National Parks Association of Qld
- Nature Conservation Council of NSW
- North Queensland Conservation Council
- Queensland Conservation Council
- Project AWARE Foundation
- Sealife Conservation Fund
- The Nature Conservancy
- The Pew Charitable Trusts
- The Wilderness Society
- Victorian National Parks Association
- Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
- Wildlife Preservation Council of Qld
- World Wildlife Fund – Australia
What's at stake
Marine sanctuaries are proven to work alongside sensible fisheries management to provide safe havens for fish and marine life to recover and rebuild. Sanctuaries have been shown to prevent local extinctions and help make coral reefs more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
In 2012, Australia made history by creating the world’s largest network of marine sanctuaries – protecting our incredible marine life, safeguarding our enviable coastal lifestyle, and giving fish populations across Australia the chance to rebuild and thrive.
The creation of the national network crossed political divides and received bi-partisan political support. It was initiated by John Howard’s Coalition Government in 1998, and finalised by the federal Labor Government in 2012.
But now the future of the national network hangs in the balance.
The campaign to save our sanctuaries is using a combination of scientific research, public outreach and education, and engagement with state and national politicians.
- Towie, Narelle (18 May 2009), Better protection for 1.4m sq km of WA marine parks, PerthNow, (Perth, Australia), retrieved 28 January 2010