THE West Coast Abalone Divers Association has proposed an alternative location for the Ocean Reef Marina project.
Chairman John Brindle said the LandCorp project needed to be reconsidered and move south of where it is currently proposed.
He said under the current proposal, 17 per cent of the Marmion Marine Park’s inshore reef habitat would be destroyed.
“There will also be further detrimental effect on the area to the north,” he said.
“If the marina is built south from the current boat harbour, damage to the marine park will be significantly less.”
He said the abalone population on the reef system needed to be protected.
“Like much of the world, our abalone populations are in serious decline,” Mr Bridle said,
“This habitat about to be destroyed is the jewel in the crown.”
The comments follow the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) recommendation that the marina proposal was environmentally acceptable and could proceed with strict conditions including implementing actions to improve the health of reef habitats in the Marmion Marine Park.
“Central to the EPA’s assessment were the environmental values of the Marmion Marine Park, particularly the loss of sensitive reef habitats that support diverse marine life and abalone,” EPA chairman Tom Hatton said.
“We found if the Ocean Reef Marina was implemented with proper management and monitoring plans in place, the environmental values of the marine park could be protected and there would be no adverse impacts on the water quality outside the marina.”