Preservation aim enforced

THE NSW Marine Parks Authority has issued a reminder to all holiday-makers intending to venture into the Solitary Islands Marine Park this summer to take note of the zoning restrictions.

The marine park is a multiple-use park, which means most areas allow fishing and other recreational activities.

However, a small percentage was zoned as sanctuaries where no fishing or collecting was permitted.

The marine park consists of four zoning types:

  •  Sanctuary zones. ‘No-take’ areas provide the highest level of protection to habitat, animals and plants by prohibiting all forms of fishing and collecting, and anchoring on reefs. Activities that do not harm plants, animals and habitats are permitted.
  •  Habitat protection zones. Recreational fishing, some forms of commercial fishing, tourist activities and fishing competitions are permitted in habitat protection zones but only certain species may be taken.
  •  General use zones. Provides for a wide range of activities including both commercial and recreational fishing. All standard NSW fishing regulations and bag limits apply. All forms of setline/dropline, longline, purse seine net fishing and estuary mesh netting are prohibited in the marine park. Commercial aquarium collecting is also prohibited.
  •  Special purpose zones. Management of oyster leases in Sandon and Wooli rivers, Aboriginal cultural use, research or rehabilitation in Pipe Clay Lake and at Arrawarra Headland.

The Solitary Islands Marine Park stretches over 75km from Muttonbird Island in the south to the Sandon River and Plover Island in the north.

Researchers have identified more than 550 species of reef fish, 90 species of hard coral and 600 species of molluscs in the marine park.

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