Eyre Peninsula fishers have been reminded of the importance of sanctuary zones at Coffin Bay as spring heralds the annual return of yellowfin kingfish.
There are six sanctuary zones in the area - Kellidie Bay, Mount Dutton Bay, Mount Dutton Creek, Horse Peninsula, Yangie Bay and Eely Point.
Marine parks compliance officer Elise Launer said yellowtail kingfish would soon be making their annual migration to the area, and it was likely they used the shallow, sheltered bays to spawn. This made the area critical to the species’ life cycle.
“It is important that no fishing activity takes place within the sanctuary zones,” she said.
“These protected areas allow yellowtail kingfish and other species to go about their breeding activity with less disturbance. People fishing must be aware they are not able to ‘herd’ fish from the sanctuary zones to outside, and also cannot hook a fish outside of the zone and follow it into the zone to land it.”
The Kellidie Bay sanctuary zone protects some biologically unique ecosystems in Coffin Bay, including seagrass beds which are home to a wide variety of marine species.
“We encourage people to enjoy the diversity and abundance of wildlife within marine parks. People in recreational vessels can enter the sanctuary zones to view and enjoy the marine life; however, motorised water sports and fishing need to be outside of the sanctuary zones,” Ms Launer said.
“Rangers regularly patrol the sanctuary zones and people are encouraged to report any illegal behaviour.
“By protecting the important habitats and ecosystems within Coffin Bay, we are allowing for healthy, productive marine environments for the future.”
For general help with locating sanctuary zones, visit www.environment.sa.gov.au/marineparks/maps-and-coordinates
Information on the zones on Eyre Peninsula is at www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/eyrepeninsula/coast-and-marine/marine-parks
To report a marine parks offence, call Fishwatch on 1800 065 522 (24 hours) or use the Free SA Recreational Fishing Guide app.