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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
A small group of sea lions playing in shallow ocean water
Australian sea lions will enjoy greater levels of protection from gillnets under the new exclusion zones. Photo courtesy Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Thursday 28 June 2018

Greater sea lion protection builds social licence for WA fishers

​A new network of Gillnet Exclusion Zones has been established to protect Australian sea lion breeding colonies. The zones have been introduced under special orders needed to comply with Federal environmental requirements.

The arrangements will see 33 new zones along the Western Australian coast, ranging from six to 33 kilometres in radius and covering a total of 17,300 square kilometres.

The network of zones seek to balance Australian sea lion conservation concerns, with the need to maintain a viable commercial fishery that delivers economic and social benefits to the community.

Waters within the zones will be closed to gillnet fishing by commercial demersal gillnet and demersal longline operators, but the fishers will still be able to use their nets outside these zones.

The WA zones have been established to significantly reduce the risk of sea lions interacting with demersal gillnets when the mammals are foraging around their breeding colonies. 

The new zones will come into effect from 29 June 2018.

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Last modified: 28/06/2018 12:23 PM

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