Marine park permits

Marine parks have been established to help protect and conserve South Australia’s special marine habitats and associated marine life. To help us manage marine parks and provide opportunities for the community to still use the parks, there are some restrictions on what activities can be undertaken within the parks. 

Marine parks permits may be issued to allow an activity that would otherwise be prohibited by the Marine Parks (Zoning) Regulations. The following activities in sanctuary zones will be given favourable consideration for permits:

You may apply for a permit for any other activity prohibited in a marine park, but it is expected that permits for these other activities will be granted only in exceptional circumstances and where they do not contradict the management objectives of the zone or marine park.  

Marine Parks Regulations 2008 – Permits Regulations

New regulations to help manage permits take effect on 2 February 2015. These administrative Regulations provide that:

  • permit holders may vary conditions of permits
  • permit holders may transfer permits
  • duplicates of permits may be issued
  • breaches of permits requirements may now be expiated ($315 fee) rather than subject to $100,000 penalty or two years’ imprisonment
  • application fees can now be charged, although these fees may be waived at the Minister’s discretion – see factsheet for more information about the waiver of fees

Do I need a permit?

You can quickly check if you need a permit for your activity by looking at the table which summarises the activities and uses prohibited or restricted in the various marine park zones.

You will not need a marine parks permit if you have already obtained an authority for the following activities:  

  • DEWNR commercial tour operators licence, filming and photography permit, event licence or scientific permit (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 or Wilderness Protection Act 1992)
  • Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure aquatic activities licence (Harbors and Navigation Act 1993)
  • PIRSA Fisheries authorisation as a scientific observer (Fisheries Management Act 2007).

Are there any permit fees?

Fees are payable for permit applications and for varying conditions in a permit, transferring a permit and issuing a duplicate permit.  Details about fee payment are available on the permit application form.

How do I apply for a marine parks permit?

The marine parks permit application form can be used for all types of marine parks permit applications. You can email or post your completed application form to:

Marine Parks Permits
Protected Areas Unit
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
GPO Box 1047
Adelaide SA 5001
Email: DEWNR.MarineParksPermits@sa.gov.au

Please allow four weeks for your application to be processed.

More information

If you need more information, please contact DEWNR on (08) 8124 4900 or email DEWNR.MarineParksPermits@sa.gov.au.