skip to content
Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Recreational fishing in marine protected areas

Marine protected areas may include areas where some or all fishing activities are restricted. There are a variety of reasons for restrictions, including to protect conservation values or particularly vulnerable species, to preserve representative examples of biodiversity, to provide sites for long-term scientific monitoring or to manage resource sharing issues.

Different types of marine protected areas exist in Western Australian State waters (to three nautical miles off the coast) including: 

  • State marine reserves (see below);
  • Reef Protected Areas such as at Point Samson;
  • areas closed to fishing for a particular reason, for example at Greens Pool to manage aquatic resource sharing issues.

Further offshore in Australian Marine Parks, between three and 200 nautical miles off the WA coast some zones have fishing restrictions to protect the values of the park (see below).

When fishing in a marine protected area, it’s important to:

  • Know your zones and respect the areas where you can and can’t fish.
  • Abide by the recreational fishing rules.
  • Leave areas as you found them and take your rubbish home with you.
  • Be considerate of the environment and others.
  • Support research and education where possible.  

State marine reserves

Marine reserves in WA state waters include different types of ‘zones’ within which some or all forms of fishing may be restricted to protect conservation values, as outlined in the relevant marine reserve management plan. Recreational fishing can occur in the majority of most State marine reserves, with the exception of Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve, within which no fishing is permitted.

It is important that fishers be aware of both the location of all marine reserve zones and the fishing rules which apply within them. Recreational fishing within marine reserves is also subject to recreational fishing rules (such as bag limits) to ensure long-term sustainable use. For more information about fishing rules in the State’s marine reserves, explore this interactive map or click on the links below the map. You can also familiarise yourself with the zones, and where you can and can’t fish, through the Recfishwest fishing app and the Explore Marine Parks WA app.


West Coast Bioregion

South Coast Bioregion

Gascoyne Bioregion

North Coast Bioregion

Australian Marine Parks

In Western Australia, a number of offshore marine park networks are in place.

Australian Marine Parks include zones that support a range of activities. All fishing activities are prohibited in sanctuary zones (IUCN Ia) and national park zones (IUCN II) and fishing gear must be kept stowed and secured when in these zones.

Where recreational fishing is allowed in Australian Marine Parks off WA it must be done in accordance with the WA recreational fishing rules, including species, bag and size limits, seasonal closures, gear restrictions and licence requirements. For more informatoin about fishing in Australian Marine Parks off WA, click on the marine parks network links above.

You can also familiarise yourself with the zones, and where you can and can't fish, through the Recfishwest fishing app and the Explore Marine Parks WA app. See Parks Australia’s website for information on recreational fishing in Australian Marine Parks.

Management of marine protected areas

For information about management, visit management of marine protected areas.

Last modified: 7/10/2020 1:06 PM

© All contents copyright Government of Western Australia. All rights reserved. ABN: 18 951 343 745


© This work is copyright. You may display, print or reproduce this material only in an unaltered format for your personal or non-commercial use, or for use within your organisation. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved.


The information and advice provided by the Department of Fisheries website is made in good faith and is from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of release onto the website. Changes in circumstances after a document is placed on the website may affect the accuracy of the information. Full disclaimer details are available at