Jon Ford

Jon Ford

Minister for Employment Protection; Regional Development; Fisheries; the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne

Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    Fishing rules to protect Ningaloo biodiversity

    23/09/2005 12:00 AM

    The State Government has finalised fishing rules for the sanctuary zones at Ningaloo Marine Park on Western Australia’s icon Coral Coast in the State’s North-West.

    Fisheries Minister Jon Ford and Environment Minister Judy Edwards said the move was part of the Government’s aim to conserve marine biodiversity and fish stocks in the Ningaloo Marine Park.

    The Ministers said new controls under fisheries legislation would complement CALM Act regulations in the recently established sanctuary zones.

    “Ningaloo is regarded as one of the world’s greatest fringing coral reef ecosystems and attracts tourists from around the world for its outstanding natural attributes, quality fishing, tourism and recreation experiences,” Mr Ford said.

    “By formally implementing the sanctuary zones under fisheries legislation, this Government is delivering on its commitment to protect the State’s diverse ecosystems and marine life.”

    Mr Ford said more than 60 per cent of the park would remain open to recreational anglers and the sanctuary zones should help improve the fishing experience.

    Dr Edwards said the new fishing rules came into effect this month and complemented the series of new and existing marine sanctuary zones that fully protected representative examples of the entire 300km of the Ningaloo Reef system.

    In November 2004, Ningaloo Marine Park was extended south, from Amherst Point to Red Bluff, with an extra 60km of coast and reef afforded protection.

    “If we do not protect the fragile natural balance of this precious environment, we threaten the life of one of our State’s greatest attractions,” Dr Edwards said.

    Ningaloo Marine Park and the adjacent Cape Range National Park attract more than 200,000 visitors a year with an injection of $127million a year into the Gascoyne economy.

    Department of Fisheries and CALM officers will be conducting compliance and education activities in the region to ensure visitors to Ningaloo Marine Park understand and comply with the new arrangements.

    Both agencies are jointly producing a range of education materials and more information is available from departmental offices. For information on fishing rules, contact the Department of Fisheries on 9482 7333 or at Exmouth on 9949 2755 or visit

    Additional information on marine parks is available from CALM at Exmouth 9949 1676 or visit CALM’s NatureBase website at

    Minister for Fisheries office: 9425 4200
    Minister for the Environment's office: 9220 5050