The community is reminded that crabbing is illegal within the Cowleds Landing Sanctuary Zone at Eight Mile Creek.
South Australia’s network of marine park sanctuary zones was designed with community input to provide protection for all plants and animals in key areas across the state.
Marine Parks Regional Coordinator Dr Shelley Harrison said as of 1 October 2014 plants and animals cannot be removed from sanctuary zones.
“This includes crabbing, collecting baitworms and fishing,” Dr Harrison said.
“The Whyalla Foreshore, south of Cowleds Landing shacks and further south at Cowell provides ample opportunities for the community to enjoy crabbing.”
The Cowleds Landing Sanctuary Zone protects an array of coastal and marine habitats, its mudflats, mangroves and seagrass are very important nursery habitats for many species including blue swimmer crabs, western king prawns and garfish.
It’s a particularly important nursery for the region’s snapper, which is a drawcard for visitors to the Whyalla area.
“The sanctuary zone is also an important feeding and roosting site for migratory shorebirds, protected under international treaties,” Dr Harrison said.
“These habitats are the foundation of the food chain providing food, shelter and undisturbed areas for animals and important fish species, including the prized snapper, to feed and breed.
“Protecting nurseries and other critical habitats will build resilience and help marine life for generations to come.”
Targeted patrols of the Cowleds Landing Sanctuary Zone will be conducted over summer and while the priority is education, formal warnings and expiations may be issued and repeat offenders can face serious consequences.
The free SA Recreational Fishing Guide App, which will help guide you on the water, can also be downloaded on the marine parks website,