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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
   NO fishing in sanctuary zones
Tuesday 6 July 2021

No fishing on HMAS Swan wreck site

​Authorities are reminding fishers the HMAS Swan dive site is closed to all fishing, due to its location within the Ngari Capes Marine Park, Eagle Bay sanctuary zone where all fishing is prohibited.

Regular compliance checks of the Eagle Bay sanctuary zone this year have seen a noticeable increase in people ignoring the no-fishing rule for the dive site.

The Departments of Biodiversity and Conservation and Attractions and Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) urge anyone planning on fishing within the Ngari Capes Marine Park to be aware of its different zones and the permitted activities in them.

The free Recfishwest and Marine Parks WA smartphone apps provide popular ways to find out what zone you are in and what activities you can enjoy at that location. Sanctuary zones within Geographe Bay are also marked by yellow buoys that extend one meter above the water level. Alternatively, you can familiarise yourself with the location of these zones and the permitted activities by visiting

DPIRD’s Acting Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer Gary Harburn said more boat fishing had been noted in the area recently and offenders could face infringement fines or prosecution for breaching the rules.

“Boat fishers must ensure they do not anchor, drift or troll through the protected area of the HMAS Swan dive site, which is closed to all fishing all year round,” Mr Harburn said.

“The protected area is required to ensure the safety of all divers visiting the wreck, as lost fishing gear such as hooks, sinkers and line can become a hazard to divers.”

 Divers enjoying the HMAS Swan wreck site (Image from WA Tourism)

Any fisher prosecuted for breaching the rules could face a fine up to $5,000 and an additional mandatory penalty equal to ten times the prescribed value of their catch, calculated by the number and species of fish involved in the offence. If you suspect or see any illegal fishing activity you can make a confidential report to the FishWatch 24/7 on 1800 815 507.

Mr Harburn said the wreck was home to various species of fish that enhance the diving experience and people should do the right thing and fish outside this no-take zone.

Apart from the HMAS Swan wreck site no fishing area, fishers can still experience plenty of great fishing opportunities in Geographe Bay, including at the Dunsborough artificial reef, a joint initiative between the WA Government and Recfishwest.

The artificial reef provides habitat for species such as pink snapper, skippy and Samson fish.

For more information on the artificial reef go to:

Last modified: 15/07/2021 9:44 AM

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