Precious marine life in the 60,000 hectare Buccaneer Archipelago Marine Parks off the Kimberley coast will be established and enforced through a $31 million funding package. Fisheries Minister Don Punch announced the support package on Thursday and said it would include $20M for the Fisheries Department to fund education, research and compliance support. The package will upgrades to boat ramps, 10 new local positions and one Perth-based position, a boat to patrol the waters and artificial reefs installed to provide alternative places to fish in the Kimberley. It also includes a voluntary fisheries adjustment scheme to help fishers transition out of the industry, including mental health support for those losing their jobs due to rezoning of the waters. “It’s a complete package that really reinforces the work that we are doing to support what is a very special part of the marine environment up here in the Kimberley,” Mr Punch said. “There’s nowhere like the Kimberley in the world. It’s remote, it’s in a tropical areas and it’s got some amazing marine environments. “What’s really important about the marine park is it is a partnership between Department of Biodiversity Conservation Attractions and traditional owners. “So it takes us forward on a journey about how those marine parks can be managed into the future for the benefit of future generations, as well as providing for planned access and use that doesn’t have an impact on the marine environment.” Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna said traditional owners had a cultural connection with both the land and waters and that there were sacred sites within the park. “The Kimberley’s marine environment is so important to the whole community, so it’s vital that we preserve and protect it for generations to come.” Ms D’Anna said. “The creation of the marine parks, the new vessel and the investment for more fisheries resources will provide much needed protection for the Buccaneer Archipelago, and I’m excited for the opportunities this investment will bring to our region.” The government also announced a $6.5 million contribution for three aquaculture zones, in the Kimberley, the Abroholos Islands and in Albany. “It will see an expansion and support additional research, particularly in relation to some of the parasite control issues that we have,” Mr Punch said.