skip to content
Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Management of marine protected areas

Marine protected areas are one of many tools that may be used alongside fisheries management to contribute to a sustainable marine environment and conservation of aquatic biodiversity.

Different types of marine protected areas exist in Western Australian State waters (to three nautical miles off the coast) and special management arrangements apply. Types include:

Commonwealth protected areas may also be put in place in waters between three and 200 nautical miles off the WA coast under Commonwealth legislation.

We work closely with other government agencies, such as the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Parks Australia, to manage marine protected areas in WA.

State marine parks and reserves

Marine parks and reserves are created and managed by Parks and Wildlife under the provisions of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984. Marine reserves are also vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission, which develops policies and reviews and audits management plans.

We manage fishing and aquaculture inside and outside marine reserves. We work with Parks and Wildlife to educate people about the rules, monitor compliance, and support research and monitoring programs. We are involved in developing management plans and marine park zoning, which requires the approval of the Minister for Fisheries. We also administer the marine reserve compensation process on behalf of the Minister for Fisheries, in accordance with the Fishing and Related Industries Compensation (Marine Reserves) Act 1997.

Explore this interactive map or click on the links below the map for more information about management of the State’s marine reserves.

West Coast Bioregion

South Coast Bioregion

Gascoyne Coast Bioregion

North Coast Bioregion

Recreational fishing

When fishing in marine protected areas, it is important to know your zones and where you can and can’t fish. For more information, see recreational fishing in marine protected areas. ​

Last modified: 20/07/2018 3:20 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