- New management plans for Abrolhos Islands for the next decade
- Protects natural, cultural heritage as well as fishing and recreation
- Provides opportunities for nature-based tourism and economic development
An untouched paradise off Western Australia's coast will be better protected under new 10-year management plans.
The Houtman Abrolhos is an archipelago of 210 islands surrounded by spectacular coral reef about 60 kilometres west of Geraldton.
The national park was created in 2019 as part of the McGowan Government's Plan for Our Parks, and is managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. It coincided with the 400-year anniversary of Dutch navigator Frederick de Houtman's sighting of the Abrolhos. The management plan covers 184 unoccupied islands and part of five occupied islands.
The remaining occupied islands are a Class A reserve, managed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for conservation, tourism and fishing. The surrounding crystal blue waters lie within a Fish Habitat Protection Area.
The three management plans have been developed with the community and stakeholders to safeguard the natural habitat, cultural heritage, fishing, recreation, as well as support sustainable tourism.
To view the plans, visit www.dbca.wa.gov.au/managementplans or www.fish.wa.gov.au/About-Us/Publications/Pages/default.aspx
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
"The Abrolhos Islands offer a unique wilderness experience that's waiting to be explored. It's about balancing visitation and protection of this rugged paradise.
"This is an important step towards preserving the heritage of these natural sanctuaries, while promoting sustainable tourism.
"The McGowan Government recently committed $12 million towards visitor and management amenities, which will ensure the islands' wildlife and rich history are protected into the future."
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Don Punch:
"The Abrolhos Islands are a magnificent destination and this new management plan provides the right balance for fishing and aquaculture, as well as conservation and tourism.
"The Abrolhos Reserve is predominantly occupied by commercial rock lobster fishers and aquaculture operators, who have a strong sense of responsibility to protect this unique environment for future generations to enjoy.
"We'll now be focussing on developing a licensing framework to oversee tourism and ensure seamless management across both the land and water."