Environment SA News

Protecting South Australia’s marine environments

With the warm summer months now upon us, the fishing and crabbing season is in full swing across the state.

Male blue swimmer crab, commonly found within the Cowleds Landing sanctuary zone. Photo Simon Bryars

During this time, the community is reminded that fishing, crabbing and bait-worming activities are not permitted within marine park sanctuary zones across South Australian waters.

South Australia’s network of marine park sanctuary zones was designed with community input to provide protection for all plants and animals in key marine environments across the state.

Marine Park Compliance Officer Elise Launer said that people must not remove, harm or interfere with any plant or animal within sanctuary zones.

“Restricted activities include crabbing, collecting baitworms or any other fishing activity, either by boat or from the shore,” Miss Launer said.

“There are many areas around the state where the community can enjoy crabbing, however it is important that everyone is aware of what you can and can’t do in sanctuary zones.

“Sanctuary zones protect an array of coastal and marine habitats including saltmarsh, mangroves and seagrass.

“These habitats provide an important nursery for a range of species, including blue swimmer crabs, western king prawns and garfish.

“These habitats are the foundation of the food chain, and provide shelter and undisturbed areas for these keystone species to carry out their lifecycle.

“Protecting nurseries and other critical habitats will build resilience and help marine life for generations to come.”

The community is reminded that aerial, shore and boat patrols of sanctuary zones in all marine parks, will occur over the summer months.

Although encouraging voluntary compliance and education are the main focus when protecting these areas, failure to comply with the Marine Parks Act 2007 may result in expiation or prosecution.

For help locating South Australia’s sanctuary zones please visit the marine parks website.

The free SA Recreational Fishing Guide App, which will help guide you on the water, can be downloaded on the marine parks website.