Frequently Asked Questions

What has been announced for recreational fishing in the Batemans Marine Park?

The NSW Government announced on 12 December 2019 that increased recreational fishing access will immediately be provided for in sanctuary zones in 5 areas of the Batemans Marine Park. All other sanctuary zones within the Batemans Marine Park will remain closed to fishing.

What are the changes in the sanctuary zones which will allow fishing?

Brou Lake South sanctuary zone

Until further notice, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) will allow catch and release recreational line fishing in this zone. This means that all fish caught must be swiftly returned to their natural environment with the least possible injury. Fish may not be retained or held in a live well or similar. Photographs may be taken at the immediate location as long as the fish is released as soon as possible.

The Department will continue to undertake compliance and enforcement activities under the relevant legislation with respect to all other fishing related activities in this zone.

Montague Island South and East sanctuary zones

Until further notice, DPI will allow recreational fishing activities in this zone, including line fishing, spearfishing and recreational diving for abalone, lobsters and other invertebrates, subject to current rules under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.

Fishing is restricted to protect Greynurse Sharks between 1 November and 30 April each year as follows:

  • No fishing with bait
  • No fishing at anchor
  • No fishing with a wire trace line
  • No nets (landing nets allowed).

The Department will continue to undertake compliance and enforcement activities under the relevant legislation with respect to all other fishing related activities in this zone.

Clarks Bay – Freshwater Bay and Forsters Bay sanctuary zones

Until further notice, DPI will allow recreational fishing activities in this zone, including line fishing and spearfishing. This will not include the use of nets and traps other than a dip/scoop net or a landing net.

The Department will continue to undertake compliance and enforcement activities under the relevant legislation with respect to all other fishing related activities in this zone.

Nangudga Lake sanctuary zone

Until further notice, DPI will allow recreational line fishing and prawning using a hand held dip/scoop in this zone. The use of any other recreational gear or prawn nets is not allowed.

The Department will continue to undertake compliance and enforcement activities under the relevant legislation with respect to all other fishing related activities in this zone.

Generally

Notwithstanding the above, when using the specified fishing gear above, the Department will continue to enforce the requirements set out in the Fisheries Management Act 1994, for example, in relation to species, bag and size limits.

Can I be fined if I’m fishing recreationally in these sanctuary zones?

The Department will not issue penalty notices under the Marine Estate Management Act 2014 to peoplefor using the recreational fishing methods and gear as outlined above.

The Department will continue to undertake compliance and enforcement activities under the relevant legislation, including under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 and Marine Estate Management Act 2014, with respect to all other fishing related activities.

When do these changes apply?

From 12 December 2019 until further notice.

Will there be any further consultation on these changes?

Yes. Public consultation on these changes to fishing rules in the Batemans Marine Park will be undertaken in early 2020.

How do these changes relate to the marine park planning process?

A new management planning process is currently being piloted in Batemans Marine Park. Management rules across the park will be comprehensively reviewed and updated to give effect to the management plan. This is currently scheduled to occur in mid 2020.

Why are the changes limited to Batemans Marine Park?

These changes deliver on a commitment made earlier in the year to boost recreational fishing access in the Batemans Marine Park.