We are committed to maintaining South Australia’s network of marine parks and revising the current sanctuary (no take) zone boundaries.
An independent review of marine park Sanctuary Zones (SZs) was carried out by BDO EconSearch in 2018, taking economic, social and environmental values held by regional communities and the commercial and recreational fishing sectors into consideration.
The review demonstrated that while the 2013 marine parks buyback program had removed displaced fishing effort at a fisheries level, there were still some important fishing areas lost to commercial fishers and concern from the industry that some SZs are having an impact on their operations.
Following consultation between the commercial fishing, recreational fishing and conservation sectors during 2019; the government has nominated six marine park SZs for which amendments are proposed. In addition, the government proposes to expand the outer boundaries of two marine parks to facilitate the management of three new areas.
The legislated review of all 19 marine park management plans is scheduled for 2022.
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 this 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.
Recently a shellfish reef, Windara, was established off Ardrossan in the Gulf St Vincent. The South Australian government will soon commence construction of a new shellfish in Adelaide’s metropolitan waters off 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.