State Marine Parks & What They Mean for Your Fishing

Love them or loathe them there are a number of state marine parks that are in the process of being implemented. These include the Ngari Capes Marine Park and six new marine parks in the Kimberley at Eighty Mile Beach, Roebuck Bay, Horizontal Falls, Camden Sound, North Camden Sound and North Kimberley.

Before any changes to the fishing rules in these marine parks can take effect they need to be gazetted under the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 (CALM Act) and then complementary legislation has to be made under the Fish Resources Management Act 1994 (FRMA).

Consequently, there is a time lag between classification of marine park zones and restrictions on where you can fish taking effect.

Under the CALM Act, authorisations (fishing licences) issued under the FRMA prior to the classification of a marine park remain valid (and rights unaffected) at least until the authorisation expires or is due for renewal.

What this means for you is that once a marine park has been gazette under the CALM Act there will be no changes to the fishing rules within the park for 12 months.

This means that fishing prohibitions will not be introduced under the FRMA until 12 months after the marine park zones are classified under the CALM Act.

This approach ensures that any fishing licences that were current at the time the marine park zones were gazetted can be used to their full extent.

Once a marine park has been gazetted under the CALM Act, fishers will be able to renew their licences and continue fishing throughout the marine park in accordance with their authorisation until the 12 month transition period ends. At the end of the 12 month transition period, fishing licences will remain valid but fishers must then comply with the new marine park fishing rules.

Read Recfishwest’s Position Statement on Marine Parks here.