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.

Proposed amendments

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:

Marine Park

Sanctuary zone

Proposed amendments

More information

Upper Gulf St Vincent

n/a

To extend the marine park outer boundary to allow inclusion of Windara Shellfish Reef with appropriate management arrangements to allow recreational fishing

Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park Management Plan Draft Amendment 2020

Set of comparison maps

Impact statement report

 

Clinton Wetlands

Change southern part of Sanctuary Zone (SZ) to Habitat Protection Zone (HPZ) to allow fishing

Encounter Marine Park

n/a

To extend the outer boundaries to allow the inclusion of the existing exclusion zone at Port Stanvac as a SZ, and include protection and appropriate management of the planned metropolitan shellfish reef

Encounter Marine Park Management Plan Draft Amendment 2020

Set of comparison maps

Impact statement report

Nuyts Archipelago

Isles of St Francis

Change northern part of the SZ to a HPZ to allow fishing

Expand the southern part of the SZ to encompass a larger area including around Hart Island and Cannan reefs

Nuyts Archipelago Marine Park Management Plan Draft Amendment 2020

Set of comparison maps

Impact statement report

 

Nuyts Reef

Expand the area of the SZ

Neptune Islands Group

North Neptune

Change western and southern part of SZ to HPZ to allow fishing

Neptune Islands Group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park Management Plan Draft Amendment 2020

Set of comparison maps

Impact statement report  

 

Western Kangaroo Island

Cape du Couedic

Change eastern part of the SZ to HPZ to allow fishing

Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park Management Plan Draft Amendment 2020

Set of comparison maps

Impact statement report

 

Upper South East

Coorong Beach South

Overlay a special purpose area to enable shore-based recreational line fishing

Upper South East Marine Park Management Plan Draft Amendment 2020

Set of comparison maps

Impact statement report

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.

More information

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.