David Templeman

David Templeman

Minister for the Environment; Climate Change; Peel

    Release of final management plan for Shoalwater Islands Marine Park

    31/10/2007 4:30 PM
     
    31/10/07

    The State Government’s commitment to a world-class system of marine parks and reserves along Western Australia’s coastline has been reinforced with the release of the final management plan for the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park.

    Environment Minister David Templeman said the final management plan was the culmination of many years of hard work by stakeholders for the unique marine park on Perth’s doorstep.

    “The marine park contains a diverse range of habitats, such as sandy beaches and rocky shorelines, seagrass meadows, subtidal and intertidal reefs and the deep silty basin of Warnbro Sound,” Mr Templeman said.

    “These habitats are important for the largest breeding colony of Little Penguins in WA, other seabirds and shorebirds, bottlenose dolphins and Australian sea lions.

    “Southern right whales and humpback whales are also found in the park at certain times of the year, making the area important for conservation, education, science and a growing tourism industry.

    “The park’s waters support a range of commercial fisheries and recreational activities, such as fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, surfing and nature appreciation.”

    The Minister said the plan outlined strategies to manage the 6,600ha marine park adjacent to the City of Rockingham by providing a framework to conserve and maintain its important ecological values, while providing for recreational and commercial activities to continue in a sustainable manner.

    “Approximately six per cent of the marine park is included in no-take Sanctuary Zones at Seal Island, Second Rock and Becher Point, with another nine per cent in highly protected Special Purpose Zones in Shoalwater Bay and around the northern portion of Murray Reef,” he said.

    “Most of the marine park remains available for recreational and commercial uses, including fishing, that are compatible with the conservation values of the area.

    “The zoning scheme and management strategies also allow for commercial activities, such as rock lobster fishing, to continue while maintaining the quality of recreational experiences in the park and reducing potential conflicts among users.”

    Mr Templeman said the management plan made an important commitment to further pursue a sanctuary zone off Cape Peron and to include an area off Port Kennedy that originally had been excluded from the park for a potential marina development.

    “The Cape Peron area contains near-shore reef habitat that warrants further consideration for protection and that process requires further consultation with the community,” he said.

    “Including the Port Kennedy exclusion area would enhance protection of a white-bait nursery area that provides an important seasonal food source for the population of about 1,200 Little Penguins that nest on Penguin Island.

    “A crucial aspect has been the involvement of the community in the development of the plan through the release of an earlier draft plan, community meetings and workshops. A community-based focus group also provided input into the final plan.”

    Copies of the plan can be obtained at Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) offices at Wanneroo, Fremantle and Kensington. The plan and the summary of public submissions report can also be viewed on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.wa.gov.au via the NatureBase link.

    Minister's office - 9220 5050