Fish habitat protection area expanded at Point Quobba

Mr Moore said increasing the restricted zone followed a community-driven initiative to better protect fish and the coral reef and lagoon system, which is a popular snorkelling site.

“The new restriction zone will cover roughly one kilometre by 900m by 340m in area,” he said.

“At present, prohibitions apply to an area within a 400-metre radius of Point Quobba, but the new rules will apply to the entire coral reef and lagoon area.”

The FHPA, about 75km from Carnarvon, is not far from the blowholes. Colourful and diverse inshore habitats and fish communities are within easy reach of the beach.

The Minister said the new rules for the Point Quobba restricted area included:
no spear fishing, recreational fishing or commercial fishing in the restricted area
no collecting of any marine organisms (including live and dead coral, live rock, crustaceans or shells) in the restricted area, with the exception of rock oysters (taken by hand) and squid (taken using a squid jig without bait)
no jet skis within the restricted area to improve snorkeller safety and avoid disturbing fish.
Mr Moore said the community initiative would help raise awareness of the role of fish habitat protection areas and the need for careful management of marine environments.

“Before an FHPA can be set up or varied, interested groups and individuals have a direct say in how the area should be managed and protected,” he said.

The Minister said signs at a number of locations would detail the rules for the new restricted area and include a map of the entire FHPA.

Fishing is permitted in the section of the FHPA that is outside the expanded restriction zone.