Making the most of holidays in our Marine Parks

2 Jul 2019

An evening photo from the back of a boat looking towards a bridge

A reminder for everyone heading out to NSW Marine Parks these school holidays – enjoy and conserve our pristine and picturesque parks.

Justin Gilligan, Acting Manager Batemans Marine Park, said Batemans Marine Park (BMP) is one of six marine parks on the NSW coast that was established to conserve our unique marine biodiversity.

“Batemans Marine Park belongs to everyone, with more than 80% of BMP available for recreational fishing, however like NSW’s other marine parks, it is managed to support multiple uses,” Mr Gilligan said.

“The aim of BMP is to conserve marine biodiversity while also supporting the vast range of activities such as recreational fishing, diving, boating, and snorkelling as well as commercial fishing and tourism industries.

“However restrictions do apply in some areas, and Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Officers will be out and about in BMP this coming winter school holidays to ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities when out enjoying the marine park.”

These responsibilities include:

  • Ensure you familiarise yourself with the Marine Park zones and rules. Pick up or download a User Guide and be aware of the rules that apply in the areas you intend to visit. Batemans Marine Park zoning maps are available from DPI offices, bait and tackle stores, tourist information centres, or visit the DPI website.
  • Marine Park zoning maps are available for mobile devices as part of the NSW DPI FishSmartNSW app. Download the free NSW DPI FishSmartNSW app on the App Store or Google Play. The app provides 24/7 access to all the essential information you need to fish recreationally in NSW. Make sure you enable location services so you can see where you are in relation to marine park zones and the rules that apply.
  • Sanctuary zones provide the highest level of protection within the Batemans Marine Park for a range of habitats, animals and plants, as well as areas of cultural significance. They also provide for important scientific reference sites used to study changes in species distribution and abundance over time. Many sites also protect places that support the tourism industry and recreational fishing, such as important fish nursery habitats. All forms of fishing are prohibited in sanctuary zones and significant penalties apply including on the spot fines of up to $500.
  • Restrictions also exist in other zone types such as the Murramarang Coast Special Purpose zone which allows for commercial abalone collection only, no line fishing or spearfishing is permitted in this zone.
  • Make sure you carry your recreational fishing fee receipt (or proof of exemption) with you at all times while you are fishing (or in possession of fishing gear in, on or adjacent to waters), and follow the general recreational fishing rules that apply across NSW. including fishing gear restrictions, size and bag limits. Information regarding any of the fishing rules is widely available from DPI offices, bait and tackle stores, tourist information centres, or visit the DPI website.

“While conserving the unique marine biodiversity of the area, we need to ensure we work together to ensure we protect it for current and future generations,” Mr Gilligan said.

“DPI Fisheries Officers would like everyone to enjoy the coming school holidays, but make sure you know the rules before departing. If you witness any suspicious or illegal fishing activities or damage to marine habitats whilst out on the water, report it to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or by using the online report form.”

More information

Media contact: Sarah Wright 02) 6391 3686