Have your say on proposed world-class South Coast Marine Park

  • Indicative management plans for South Coast Marine Park released for four-month public comment period
  • Proposal developed in partnership with Traditional Owner groups and stakeholders
  • Builds on consultation commenced in 2021

Western Australians are being urged to have their say on one of the State’s most important marine conservation projects.

The proposed South Coast Marine Park will provide important protections to marine species, such as the unique ruby seadragon, which is not found anywhere else in the world.

The area is also home to southern right whale nurseries, vast kelp forests, vulnerable seal and sea lion colonies, precious reefs, and important fisheries.

About 75 per cent of the proposed marine park will remain open for commercial and recreational fishing, with recreational beach access unchanged by this proposal.

The park will also provide new opportunities for nature-based tourism, supporting and further diversifying the local economy.

An extensive consultation process, led by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions with support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, and Traditional Owners, began in September 2021.

A Community Reference Committee then coordinated consultation among key stakeholders, industry groups, commercial and recreational fishers, scientists, and conservation interests for 18 months, with the committee concluding its work in 2023.

This consultation was in addition to community workshops and one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders in towns along WA’s south coast and Perth.

The State Government will continue to work with the fishing industry on transitioning toward the future arrangements, including establishing a Voluntary Fisheries Adjustment Scheme if requested by local fishers.

The public comment period is open until June 16. For more information or to have your say, visitdbca.wa.gov.au/haveyoursay

As stated by Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

“Community feedback will be critical to ensuring we achieve our vision of a world-class marine park that can be supported by the Western Australian community, and that’s why we’ve extended consultation above the statutory three-month minimum.

“Our vision is to create a marine park rivalling Ningaloo and the Great Barrier Reef. It will be the first ocean marine park along WA’s south coast, filling a key gap in the State’s marine reserve system.

“Where possible, we’ve ensured both locals and visitors can still enjoy their favourite recreational fishing locations whilst also noting activities such as diving, boating and beach driving will not be impacted by this initiative.

As stated by Fisheries Minister Don Punch:

“Following the conclusion of the public comment period, the State Government will carefully consider the feedback of all stakeholders, including commercial and recreational fishers to ensure that we achieve our vision of a well-balanced marine park.

“Previous marine parks established in WA have demonstrated the compatibility of marine parks and sustainable economic activity and I am confident that we can reach the same outcome on the South Coast.”

/Public Release. View in full here.