Changes to SA’s marine parks
The South Australian Government is committed to protecting our state’s marine environments while also supporting the communities that depend on this resource.
In 2018 the government commissioned BDO EconSearch to undertake an independent review to assess the economic, social and environmental values of the current marine park sanctuary zones.
- Following consultation with the commercial fishing, recreational fishing and conservation sectors, the government proposed to change the boundaries of 2 marine parks and amend 6 marine park management plans.
- After considering feedback received through the public consultation process the Minister for Environment and Water adopted a final set of management plan amendments on 14 September 2020 and the marine park boundary changes were proclaimed on 17 September 2020. The amendments were then authorized by the Governor and tabled in Parliament on 22 September 2020 (these are termed the ‘2020 Amendments’).
New marine park management plans
The amendment process is now complete for 2 of the 6 2020 Amendments. The following changes came into operation on 1 January 2021:
Encounter Marine Park
The northern boundary has been extended to create a new sanctuary zone at Port Stanvac and new zoning has been created around the Metropolitan Shellfish Reef at Glenelg.
Upper South East
Coorong Beach South
Shore based recreational line fishing is now allowed in the Coorong Beach South Sanctuary Zone.
Proposed changes to other marine parks
The Parliamentary process is not yet complete for 4 of the 2020 Amendments affecting the following marine parks and sanctuary zones:
- Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park adjusting the boundaries of Clinton Wetlands Sanctuary Zone (SZ-1, and creating a new Windara Reef Sanctuary Zone (SZ-5) with a special purpose area to allow recreational fishing
- Nuyts Archipelago Marine Park; altering the boundaries of Nuyts Reef Sanctuary Zone (SZ-1) and Isles of St Francis Sanctuary Zone (SZ-8)
- Neptune Islands Group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park; altering the boundaries of North Neptune Islands Sanctuary Zone (SZ-1)
- Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park, altering the boundaries of Cape du Couedic Sanctuary Zone (SZ-3)
Temporary restrictions are in place to prevent the amendments coming into operation before the Parliamentary process is complete (that is, there remains no fishing in the affected sanctuary zones).
To address some of the stakeholder views raised during the Parliamentary process, the government has encouraged further discussions between the peak South Australian commercial fishing and conservation bodies with the objective of seeking a fair balance between their interests. Taking into account feedback from those discussions, a package of further management plan amendments and a new amendment to the Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park Management Plan have been developed for public consultation (collectively termed the ‘2021 Proposed Amendments’).
Importantly, the 2021 Proposed Amendments do not replace the 2020 Amendments but will amend some of the changes made in 2020. The 2021 Proposed Amendments and the 2020 Amendments that will remain unchanged are summarized in the table below.
In line with the requirements under the Marine Parks Act 2007, the Minister for Environment and Water has given formal Notice of Intention to make the 2021 Proposed Amendments under section 14 of the Act.
The environmental, economic and social impact statement associated with these changes are available for download. These proposed amendments have been carefully considered to balance access to important high-value fishing areas while addressing environmental concerns of the conservation and scientific community. The proposed amendments are summarized below.
2020 amendments remaining unchanged
2021 proposed amendments
Nuyts Archipelago Marine park
St Francis Island Sanctuary Zone
Reinstate the original boundaries of the Isles of St Francis Sanctuary Zone with a Special Purpose Area to allow for commercial abalone fishing in the north east region.
Nuyts Reef Sanctuary Zone
The 2020 Amendment to increase the size of Nuyts Reef Sanctuary Zone is maintained
Neptune Islands Group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park
North Neptune Island Sanctuary Zone
Revise the North Neptune Islands Sanctuary Zone with a north east extension to the outer boundaries of the marine park.
Upper Gulf St. Vincent
Clinton Wetlands Sanctuary Zone
Reinstate the original sanctuary zone boundaries and zoning for the Clinton Wetlands Sanctuary Zone and allow for shore based recreational fishing at one site.
Windara Reef Sanctuary Zone
The 2020 Amendment to include Windara shellfish reef within the marine park is maintained
Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park
D’Estrees Bay Sanctuary Zone
Create a new sanctuary zone at D’Estrees Bay with a Special Purpose Area that allows for shore based recreational line fishing..
Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park
Cape du Couedic Sanctuary Zone
The 2020 Amendment to decrease the size of Cape du Couedic Sanctuary Zone is maintained.
Feedback for these proposed changes can be provided via the ‘Proposed revised amendments to SA’s Marine Parks’ consultation on YourSAy.sa.gov.au. This site will be open from 19 November until 31 December.
Until the process is complete in 2022, temporary fishing restrictions will remain in place (that is, no fishing in the sanctuary zones listed above).
For more information, please email us at email@example.com.