STATE Labor has announced its marine conservation policy ahead of next year's election and says if elected it would move to reinstate protections for critically endangered grey nurses sharks off the Mid North Coast.
Applauded by conservation groups, the policy would also effectively end the moratorium on the creation of new marine parks, restore full protections to marine sanctuaries, lift protections on seabird nesting sites and investigate protections for endangered hawksbill turtles.
The Opposition's spokesman for the environment Luke Foley announced Labor's marine policy.
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW welcomed the proposed measures.
"Labor has set a new minimum standard for marine conservation in NSW that we believe the Baird government should match, or even better," NCC CEO Kate Smolski said.
"Marine conservation has gone backwards in New South Wales over the past three years while the threats to our precious marine life have increased," she said.
In that time, the Government introduced the moratorium on the introduction of new marine sanctuaries and commissioned and independent scientific review into the science of marine parks and sanctuaries.
The big ticket item in the policy would be the creation of a Sydney Harbour marine park stretching from Pittwater to Port Hacking.
"We want balanced zoning arrangements which deliver wins for both conservation and for fishers and recreational users of the waterways as well as those for whom Sydney Harbour is a working harbour," Mr Foley said.