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 to 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 release for community comment around December 2023 and the planning process scheduled for completion sometime in 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.

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 convened the recreational fishing sector advisory group (SAG) that provided input to be considered in the development of the marine park plan.

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. 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 has been visiting the south coast to speak with fishers about specific areas of importance within the marine park planning area.

This information has gone through the SAG process to DBCA as they draft the indicative management plan due for release in August 2023.

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

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

Find Out More

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

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

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 community’s 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 around December, 2023.

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

It is important that fishers who fish the south coast make their voices heard in the consultation process making clear to DBCA how important fishing, 4WD beach access and prized fishing locations are too our way of life. You can do so by:

  • Joining Recfishwest’s Cast of Thousands, if you’re not already a member
  • Engaging 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.
  • When the time comes, make a submission to Government on the DRAFT management plan. This is scheduled for around December, 2023. Recfishwest will keep you updated as the time to put in a submission gets closer.

Read our South Coast Marine Park updates below

4 July, 2023 Concerns mount over beach driving bans and dog exclusions in proposed south coast marine park

Being able to drive on the beach to your favourite fishing spot to wet a line is what makes living on the south coast so great.

And for those with dogs, taking your canine friend along for the ride merely adds to the enjoyment.

However, we are hearing increasing concerns from south coast fishers that these freedoms (which are already restricted on some beach stretches) could be under serious threat in the proposed south coast marine park with DBCA’s track record in park management.

Read the full story here 

31 May, Marine park planning mess stokes fears of south coast social and economic fall-out

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction’s (DBCA’s) marine park on the south coast has been in the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons.

From shire council presidents, to leading members of the marine park’s Community Reference Committee (CRC), to community engagement officers, a growing chorus of voices have publicly criticised the direction the planning process has taken in the last few months (see some of their comments in the news and on social media below).

“There is mounting concern that our freedom to fish beaches and offshore areas prized by generations of south coast residents and visitors is on the line, “ said Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland. “With our own experiences of it to date, we share the community’s concerns that the planning process for the marine park has gone sideways.”

Read the full story here 

16 March, 2023 Esperance’s premier fishing comp highlights importance of fishing to south coast

If you want an example of how important fishing is to the south coast – look no further than Esperance and last weekend’s (March 10-12) sensational Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club’s (EDSAC) Esperance Archipelago Offshore Angling Classic. 

With Samson fish tipping the scales at more than 22kg along with spectacular harlequin fish, snapper and breaksea cod — it’s no wonder more than 600 people came down to the weigh-in at Esperance’s biggest fishing comp and enjoyed a fantastic weekend of fishing and socialising!  

There were 275 competing anglers on 83 boats taking part in the competition – making it one of the biggest boat fishing tournaments if not the biggest in WA.  

Read the full story here

13 July, 2022 Take our Marmion Marine Park and South Coast Marine Park online surveys!

13 July, 2002

If you fish between Trigg and Two Rocks in Perth’s north or between Bremer Bay and the South Australian border on our southern coast, Rercfishwest is strongly encouraing you to take our respective marine park surveys and get your voice heard in their planning processes.

The Marmion Marine Park is set to extend its northern boundary from its current base of Trigg to Burns Rocks up to Two Rocks.

Read the full story here 

28 October, 2022 Recfishwest receives great feedback from fishing communities on proposed marine parks

28 October, 2022

One of the fishing community’s greatest challenges is maintaining access to high-quality fishing experiences across Western Australia.  

Be it from industrial development, the deterioration and subsequent closing of jetties and platforms, or marine park zones that prohibit fishing, recreational fishers face a constant uphill battle in being able to access the experiences we all love and cherish. 

In the case of marine parks, Recfishwest has been at the coalface this year as we advocate strongly for a fair and reasonable outcome for fishers in two marine parks currently going through the consultation process.  

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.

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.