Proposed 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 is proposing to change the boundaries of two marine parks and amend six marine park management plans.
Pursuant to Section 14 of the Marine Parks Act 2007, the public must be notified of any proposal to amend a marine park management plan. See public notice.
Stakeholders and the community were invited to provide feedback on proposed changes via YourSAy.
New protections to enhance our marine life
The area adjacent to the old Port Stanvac oil refinery has been a marine exclusion zone for more than 50 years, meaning the nearshore environment has retained a higher biodiversity than other nearby reefs in the metropolitan area. Amendments are proposed to create a new sanctuary zone at Port Stanvac to ensure that the nearshore area remains protected into the future.
Shellfish reefs, dominated by the native flat oyster Ostrea angasi, were once a key ecological feature of the South Australian coastline, but became ‘functionally extinct’ from overfishing in the past. Research has highlighted the importance of shellfish reef habitats to the quality of the marine environment, fish breeding, and water quality as well as delivering recreational and economic opportunities.
The shellfish reef ‘Windara’, recently established off Ardrossan in the Gulf St Vincent is helping to restore these important marine ecosystems. The South Australian government will also commence construction of a new metropolitan shellfish reef at Glenelg.
Providing marine park protections for the Windara shellfish reef and the new metropolitan shellfish reef will ensure that these areas can be appropriately protected while they become established, with accessibility managed into the future.
We are proposing the following changes to South Australia’s marine parks:
• Extensions to the outer boundaries of the Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park and the Encounter Marine Park
• The creation of two new sanctuary zones within the Encounter Marine Park, one at Pt Stanvac and one at Glenelg to protect the new metropolitan shellfish reef
• Amendments to the following marine park management plans:
o Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park
o Encounter Marine Park
o Nuyts Archipelago Marine Park
o Neptune Islands Group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park
o Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park
o Upper South East Marine Park
The current environmental, economic and social values statements for South Australia’s marine parks are available here.
Details of proposed amendments
For each marine park where a change is proposed, the following information is provided:
• proposed draft amendments to management plans
• maps showing current and proposed changes to zone boundaries
• impact statements, in a supplementary report prepared by BDO EconSearch, outlining the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of the proposed changes.
This information is summarised in the following table:
The proposed amendments are anticipated to:
- benefit the economies of regional communities through relaxing restrictions on commercial and recreational fishing
- improve efficiency and flexibility for commercial fishing, particularly for the rock lobster and abalone industries which have been severely impacted by COVID-19
- improve opportunities for recreational fishers
- result in an overall increase in area protected by sanctuary zones.
Results of the public consultation
The period for public feedback closed on 10 July. All public submissions were collated and a report summarising the feedback can be found here: public consultation report, appendices.
For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us by email.
The 2018 BDO EconSearch report on economic, social and environmental values of current marine park sanctuary zones is available.