484. Despite the habitat map showing the area as almost exclusively uniform sand habitat, the seafloor terrain information shows substantial seafloor features are present. Structural complexity of the seafloor is well recognised as important for biodiversity. The origin of those features are likely to be a result of the currents and exposure as well as the biology (biogenic features). This proposal provides protection to a large area of soft sediment habitat that is likely to be different from those contained in proposals further north, due to the proximity to currents from Foveaux Strait and direct exposure to the south. The restrictions would protect important habitat and biodiversity values indicated by the presence of several important seabird species, reduce the potential for incidental fisheries captures, and help maintain the rich diversity of large animals that use the area.
477. This proposed marine protected area with fisheries restrictions is associated with proposed marine reserve ‘O – Long Point (Type 1)’. The proposed area extends 30 km (16 nm) along the boundary of the 12 nm limit and is approximately 12 km (6.5 nm) wide. It is located approximately 7.5 km (4 nm) offshore from Long Point. It contains an area of 460 km2 which is approximately 5.2% of the Forum region.
478. The boundaries have been drawn to exclude the highest intensity trawl fishery area to the landward side of the site.
479. The area would be protected by various fisheries restrictions, banning:
• All trawling • All dredging • Danish and purse seining • All set netting
480. Other forms of commercial fishing would be permitted. The proposal would only restrict recreational set net and dredge fishing.
481. This package of fishing restrictions is proposed to allow for the maintenance and recovery of the biodiversity of the area, by prohibiting bottom impacting methods and reducing fishing effects on the ecosystem, natural species composition and trophic linkages.