When the Kingfish are back in Coffin Bay, remember the Sanctuary Zone rules
As yellowtail kingfish return to shallow coastal waters, recreational fishers are reminded about the importance of Coffin Bay to the kingfish life cycle and the rules regarding Marine Park Sanctuary Zones.
Marine Parks Compliance Officer Elise Launer said it is likely yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) use the shallow sheltered bays around Coffin Bay to spawn, making protection of these areas even more critical.
“It is the responsibility of all water users to be aware of the zones and the rules,” Elise said.
“Fishers can fish for kingfish outside of the sanctuary zones, however people are reminded that it is an offence to fish in a sanctuary zone.”
The sanctuary zones were designed with expert advice from marine scientists and input from commercial and recreational fishers and the local community, and protect important habitats for a range of marine life. The Kellidie Bay Sanctuary Zone protects some biologically unique ecosystems in Coffin Bay, including seagrass beds, which are home to a wide variety of marine species.
“These protected areas allow yellowtail kingfish and other species to go about their breeding activity with less disturbance. People fishing must be aware they are not able to ‘herd’ fish from the sanctuary zones to outside, and also cannot hook a fish outside of the zone and follow it into the zone to land it,” Elise said.
There are six sanctuary zones in Coffin Bay Kellidie Bay sanctuary zone (eastern side of bay), Mount Dutton Bay, Mount Dutton Creek, Horse Peninsula, Yangie Bay and Eely Point sanctuary zones.
“We encourage people to enjoy the diversity and abundance of wildlife within Marine Parks. People in recreational vessels can enter the sanctuary zones to view and enjoy the marine life however, motorised water sports and fishing need to be outside of the sanctuary zones. Rangers regularly patrol the sanctuary zones and people are encouraged to report any illegal behaviour,” Elise said.
“By protecting the important habitats and ecosystems within Coffin Bay, we are allowing for healthy productive marine environment for the future, and that benefits everyone, including people who enjoy recreational fishing.”
Useful web links
Help with locating sanctuary zoneswww.environment.sa.gov.au/marineparks/maps-and-coordinates.
Free SA Recreational Fishing Guide app www.environment.sa.gov.au/marineparks/maps-and-coordinates/fishing-app.
Sanctuary zones in marine parks on Eyre Peninsulawww.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/coast-and-marine/marine-parks.
To report a Marine Parks offenceCall 8688 3223 (Natural Resources EP Duty Ranger) or Fishwatch on 1800 065 522 (24 hours) or via the Free SA Recreational Fishing Guide app.
Free SA Marine Parks Sanctuary Zone Maps brochures
Available at tackle shops in Port Lincoln and general stores in Coffin Bay.
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula, phone 8688 3111.