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Sanctuary zones to protect marine life

7 October 2014

South Australia’s marine parks have entered a new era in marine conservation with the start of fishing restrictions in sanctuary zones from 1 October.

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South Australia has 83 sanctuary zones within 19 marine parks around the state, which include the feeding and breeding areas of many marine species, from the largest southern right whales down to the tiniest sea stars.

Fishing is no longer allowed in these sanctuary zones, which cover about 6 per cent of South Australian waters. That leaves about 94 per cent available for recreational and commercial fishing. Recreational fishing is also provided for at all public jetties, breakwaters and popular beaches.

A comprehensive 24-page Fishing Guide is available free from the offices of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and Natural Resources Centres. Signs featuring maps of local sanctuary zones have been installed at key boat ramps and access points.

To help guide fishers on the water, DEWNR has developed a free smartphone app that gives an alert when entering a sanctuary zone. GPS coordinates are also available for download for every sanctuary zone in the state.

For more information or to download the app or GPS coordinates, visit www.marineparks.sa.gov.au or Freecall 1800 006 120.

The first time a recreational line fisher is caught illegally fishing in a sanctuary zone, they will receive an official warning. Repeat offenders and other fishers face an expiation notice of $315. Serious offenders could face fines of up to $100,000 and two years’ gaol.