The Department of Primary Industry (DPI) has issued a reminder to school holiday makers planning to visit NSW Marine Parks that the enjoyment of the pristine and picturesque environments comes with a responsibility.
Acting Manager at Batemans Marine Park (BMP) in the south of the State, Justin Gilligan said BMP was 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 per cent 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 snorkeling as well as commercial fishing and tourism industries.”
He said restrictions applied in some areas and DPI Fisheries officers would be out in BMP during the winter school holidays.
He said visitors’ responsibilities included ensuring they were familiarised with the Marine Park zones and rules and carried recreational fishing receipt (or proof of exemption) at all times.
“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,” Mr Gilligan said.
“Many sites also protect places that support the tourism industry and recreational fishing, such as important fish nursery habitats,” he said.
“All forms of fishing are prohibited in sanctuary zones and significant penalties apply including on the spot fines of up to $500.”
Mr Gilligan said restrictions also existed in other zone types such as the Murramarang Coast Special Purpose zone which allowed for commercial abalone collection only.
He said Marine Park zoning maps were available for mobile devices as part of the NSW DPI FishSmartNSW app.
Mr Gilligan encouraged visitors to the parks to report any suspicious fishing activity or damage to marine habitats by calling the Fishers Watch Phone line on 1800 043 536.