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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Management and conservation

The Houtman Abrolhos Islands is an island chain located 60km west of Geraldton and spans 100km of Western Australia’s Mid West coast. It is a unique environment that supports significant natural, cultural heritage and community values, where the surrounding waters being among the most pristine, and ecologically diverse, in Australia.

The Islands and adjacent waters also offer opportunities for the WA community through a number of aquaculture and commercial fishing operations, commercial tourism ventures, and recreational visitor experiences.

The Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park was created in July 2019 and is managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions under the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984. The National Park includes most of the islands or parts of islands that are not leased to rock lobster and aquaculture operators.

The remaining occupied islands or parts of islands are located within a Class A Reserve, which is vested in the Minister for Fisheries for the purposes of conservation of flora and fauna, tourism, and purposes associated with the fishing and aquaculture industries. The surrounding State waters of the Islands have special status as a gazetted Fish Habitat Protection Area (the FHPA), which is also managed by DPIRD. The Reserve and FHPA are both managed in accordance with the Fish Resources Management Act 1994.

In 2020, the State Government released the Houtman Abrolhos Islands Strategic Direction 2020-24, which shares the State Government’s vision and key initiatives for the Abrolhos and supports the implementation of contemporary management and governance arrangements to enable effective management and use of the land and water.

DBCA released the Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park Draft Management Plan 2021 for public comment in May 2021. Further information about the national park planning process is here.

DPIRD released draft management plans for the Abrolhos Reserve and FHPA in February 2022. The comment period has now closed. The plans and other supporting reports and papers can be viewed through DPIRD’s engagement platform​. All submissions are being considered and the management plans will be updated as required. The plans are expected to be finalised by mid-2022.

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Last modified: 4/04/2022 11:47 AM

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