Four sites in the Batemans Marine Park have been rezoned from sanctuary zone to habitat protection zone to continue to allow recreational line fishing.
NSW Department of Primary Industries Deputy Director General, Fisheries, Dr Geoff Allan announced that 10 ocean beach and headland sites across four marine parks were rezoned across the state.
The four sites in the Batemans Marine Park are North Head at Batemans Bay, Congo South Beach to Bingie near Moruya, Brou Beach near Potato Point and Bullengella Beach to Loader Beach, near Narooma.
A total of 43 kilometres of the NSW will remain in sanctuary zones.
“The decision to rezone the 10 sites from sanctuary zone to habitat protection zone to make shore-based recreational line fishing lawful, means that recreational line fishing from the shore will continue to be allowed along 44 kilometres of coastline in the Cape Byron, Solitary Islands, Port Stephens-Great Lakes and Batemans marine parks,” Dr Allan said.
“We have had over 6,600 submissions about this proposal. We acknowledge that there are a range of passionate views out there amongst those that use and value ocean beaches and headlands.
“Following a five-year amnesty on compliance action with regard to recreational line fishing from ocean beaches and headlands zoned sanctuary, these changes now bring certainty for our state’s fishers.
“Approximately one million people in NSW go out fishing at least once a year. It is a fun activity for the entire family, and supports regional communities.
“In providing their advice, the independent Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel used a threat and risk based approach to assess a range of factors relating to the impacts of recreational line fishing on ocean beaches and headlands, as well as consideration of the social values recreational fishing provides to the community.”
The zone will extend out to 100 metres from shore.
Dr Allan said the economic, social, cultural and ecological values of these areas will be further considered in developing new management plans for each park.
“The rezoning follows the removal of the compliance amnesty from 20 other beach and headland sanctuary zones in December 2014. There is no longer an amnesty in place at any marine park, and sanctuary zone rules are being enforced,” Dr Allan said.
Vessel-based fishing and spearfishing continue to be prohibited at all 30 ocean beach and headland sites and any other pre-existing restrictions including bag and size limits also continue to apply.
For more information visit www.marine.nsw.gov.au