Solitary Islands Marine Park reverts to former boundaries
The Solitary Islands Marine Park is currently distributing zoning maps that show the reinstated zone boundaries.
“The NSW Government has returned the zoning plan back to the rules and regulations that were in place between 2002 and early 2011,” said park manager Nicola Johnstone.
March 2011 zoning plans with the blue cover have been withdrawn from circulation and anglers who have them should dispose of the guide as it no longer applies. Previous zone plan user guides have been reissued to local outlets and the appropriate posters displayed at key locations.
“The previous regulations from 2002 came back into force on 26 May and signs, boundary markers and ocean zone markers will be updated in the coming weeks,” Ms Johnstone said.
“The zoning map, zone coordinates and frequently asked questions are all available on the Marine Parks Authority website www.mpa.nsw.gov.au.
“Anglers need to understand that it is not ‘open slather’ for fishing, but a return to the zones and boundaries that people have been familiar with and which Solitary Islands Marine Park compliance officers will enforce.”
Ms Johnstone said fishing clubs have been advised of the changes and organisers of the Dave Irvine Memorial Fishing Competition this weekend have been given copies of the zoning plan.
Some key points for anglers and other users of the park are:
- Deep Reef and Intermediate Reef south and east of North Solitary Island are no longer in a sanctuary zone and are accessible
- Diggers Camp Rock Platform is no longer in a sanctuary zone and therefore accessible to anglers but all collecting is prohibited on the rock platform
- Rounded sanctuary zone boundaries again apply at most islands and inshore areas and anglers need to again familiarise themselves with these zones
- Restrictions to recreational fishing within 500m of North Solitary Island and South Solitary Island, brought in under a Fisheries Closure in March 2011, have been removed
- Areas that recently opened to fishing at Bare Bluff, Fiddamans Beach (north), Minnie Water Back Beach (south) and Groper Island are now back in sanctuary zones and fishing is prohibited in these locations again
For more information visit the MPA website at www.mpa.nsw.gov.au, call (02) 6652 0900 or visit the Solitary Islands Marine Park Office at 32 Marina Drive, Coffs Harbour Jetty.