Proposed south coast marine park

Recfishwest acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land and sea, and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future. We recognise the strength, resilience and capacity of traditional custodians in managing and caring for the land and sea. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to life in Western Australia.

As one of WA’s great recreational fishing landscapes, the south coast is hugely important for tens of thousands of recreational fishers, providing spectacular fishing opportunities from both shore and boat.

That’s why Recfishwest is strongly encouraging the south coast fishing community to get involved and get their views and voices heard as part of the State Government’s plans for a new marine park on the south coast that will potentially stretch 1,000km from Bremer Bay all the way to the South Australian border.

Consultation and design of the marine park has begun with a draft plan due for March, 2023, and the planning process scheduled for completion in February, 2024.

What’s Recfishwest’s role in this marine park planning process?

As the State’s peak recreational fishing body, Recfishwest’s purpose is to ensure great fishing experiences for all in the WA community, forever.

Our commitment is to protect, promote and develop sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community.

Recfishwest will advocate directly to decision-makers to ensure that recreational fishing values are understood throughout the planning process.

Whether it’s from the shore or out on the water, WA’s south coast is home to simply amazing fishing.

In this capacity, our role in the proposed marine parks public comment process is to:

  • Meet with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction (DBCA) and Traditional Owners to gain a better understanding of what the proposed park is to achieve and discuss the importance of the waters in the proposed marine park to recfishers, particularly from a local perspective;
  • Be guided by the Esperance, Hopetoun and Bremer Bay fishers, and wider fishing communities, to work for the best outcome possible for ongoing recreational fishing access. It should be noted, Recfishwest is not part of the Government and our independent, apolitical status places us in the best position to freely represent the interests of the recreational fishing sector;
  • Regularly communicate with fishers to keep them up to date with opportunities to best engage in the process; and,
  • Provide clear and comprehensive advice on how best to make a submission to DBCA.

Additionally, Recfishwest is convening the recreational fishing sector advisory group (SAG) that will feed into the development of the marine park plan. The SAG will provide advice into the process set out by DBCA.

For any fisher who loves fishing on the south coast, it’s very important to get involved in the process to outline to DBCA as to why fishing along this spectacular coastline is so special.

While this south coast marine park consultation process appears to have a strong community focus, it’s up to south coast recfishers to get involved and be heard.

Please speak up and make sure the fishing experiences you value are protected, enhanced and celebrated in this new marine park.

Recfishwest will be visiting the south coast in the first half of 2022, to speak with fishers about specific areas of importance within the marine park planning area.

This information will be fed through the SAG process to DBCA as they draft the indicative management plan due for release in March 2023.

Find our fishing SAG advice on the south coast marine park outer boundary to the DBCA from February, 2022.

Read the Recreational Fishing Sector Advisory Group background information here.

See the Recreational Fishing Sector Advisory Group Terms of Reference here.

Stay up-to-date with the south coast marine park planning process

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Visit the DBCA website for more information about the proposed south coast marine park.

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What is the Government’s role in the marine park planning process?

WA Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson and Fisheries Minister Don Punch revealed in September, 2021, consultation for a proposed south coast marine park was underway.

Recfishwest will ensure recfishing values are understood during this process.

Read the ministers’ media release here.

DBCA, in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPRID), is leading the consultation.

This involves consultation with recreational fishers, the commercial fishing sector, aquaculture, environmental groups, local government, traditional owners, tourism groups and the community.

As joint managing agencies, it is up to DBCA and DPIRD to ensure processes the communities views are adequately captured and recognised in any marine park plans.

Consultation and design of the marine park has just commenced with a draft plan due for March, 2023.

The State Government noted the planning process was due to be complete in February, 2024.

How can I put forward my views on the proposed marine park?

While we are in a fortunate position of having some time to consolidate the views of recreational fishers, it is important that fishers who fish the south coast begin engaging with Recfishwest as soon as possible. You can do so in the following manners:

  • Engage directly with Recfishwest. Call our office and speak directly with our Operations Lead Matt Gillett, who is responsible for engaging the community on the SCMP;
  • Get in touch with your local SAG representatives. These reps are your local link to the process. Speak with your representatives about what is important to you, so they can feed this information into the Government process; and,
  • When the time comes, make a submission to Government on the DRAFT management plan. This is scheduled for March, 2023. Recfishwest will keep you updated as the time to put in a submission gets closer.

Read what’s happened so far with our updates below:

8 October, 2021: Find out more and have your say on shaping a future south coast marine park

8 October, 2021

As one of WA’s great recreational fishing landscapes, the south coast is hugely important for tens of thousands of recfishers, providing sometimes spectacular fishing opportunities from the shore and from boats alike.

From nannygai, harlequin and yellowtail kingfish from the Southern Ocean depths to metre-long mulloway, salmon, herring and skippy from pristine beaches, there is something for everyone on the south coast, providing also a coastal escape for hard-working families from the Wheatbelt and Goldfields regions.

That’s why Recfishwest is strongly encouraging the south coast fishing community to get involved and get their views and voices heard as part of the State Government’s plans for a new marine park on the south coast.

Read the full story here.

7 December, 2021: Help recreational fishers have a strong voice in the development of a south coast marine park

7 December, 2021

As one of WA’s great recreational fishing landscapes, the south coast is hugely important for tens of thousands of recreational fishers, providing spectacular fishing opportunities from both shore and boat.

Recently, the McGowan Government announced plans to create a marine park on WA’s south coast, potentially stretching 1,000km from Bremer Bay all the way to the South Australian border.

The Government’s community engagement approach for this marine park involves the establishment of Sector Advisory Groups (SAGs) to provide advice and recommendations to the marine park planning process.

Click here to read the full story.