Former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters)

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MARINE USERS

Transitional arrangements:

Until a new management plan comes into effect there will be no changes to the management arrangements for the area within the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters).

  • Transitional arrangements involve NO CHANGE ON THE WATER for marine users.
  • If you hold an existing approval to undertake activities within the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters), you are able to continue to operate under the terms of your existing approval.
  • No additional administrative requirements apply.

Summary of former reserve

Original proclamation date 3 March 1993 - now included within the new Solitary Islands Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Area 152 km2
Types of zoning
  • Former Sanctuary Zone — IUCN Category Ia IUCN 79 Ha (0.79 km2)
  • Former Habitat Protection Zone — IUCN Category IV — 3,746 Ha (37 km2)
  • Former General Use Zone — IUCN Category VI — 11 930 Ha (119 km2)
Management plan status Expired 3 April 2008, transitional management arrangements apply

The area of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters) is located off the coast of Northern NSW 600 kilometres north of Sydney between Coffs Harbour and Plover Island. It is adjacent to the Solitary Islands Marine Park  (New South Wales Waters) and extends from the three nautical mile State limit seaward to the 50m depth contour. The Solitary Islands Marine Park (NSW Waters) is 710 km2 in area with the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters) covering a further 152 km2.

Activities

The following table outlines activities allowed without permit or approval (Tick), allowed with a general approval in accordance with conditions (GA), allowed with permit or approval (A) or not allowed (Cross) in the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters).

Activities allowed in the reserve
Activity Former Sanctuary Zone Former Habitat Protection Zone Former General Use Zone
Commercial Activities
Fishing (including collecting)1 Cross GA GA
Charter fishing 123 Cross A A
Commercial tourism (including scuba diving) 23 A A A
Commercial vessel transit GA GA GA
Recreational Activities
Fishing (including spear fishing) Cross GA GA
Scuba diving A Tick Tick

Boating

TickTransiting only Tick Tick
Scientific Research
Scientific research and monitoring A A A

Notes:

1. As a minimum requirement, management of all fishing activities permitted in the Reserve will be consistent with the legal lengths, catch limits, permitted gears, and other regulations that apply to marine recreational and commercial fishing under the NSW Fisheries Management (General) Regulation 2002.

2. Permits to be consistent with NSW Marine Parks Authority policy on commercial tourist activity permits.

3. Under the general approval for commercial tourism no registration or application is required for existing approval holders. If you do not have an existing approval but wish to operate in the area of the former reserve please contact the Department.

Transitional management arrangements

Transitional management arrangements for the area of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters) will maintain the level of protection afforded to these areas by the previous reserve management arrangements.

Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), any activity in a marine reserve requires approval from the Director of National Parks in the period between proclamation of the reserves and the implementation of a management plan. This applies to existing commercial activities, including those that involve the taking of native species (fishing).

The approval from the Director of National Parks is issued under section 359B of the EPBC Act. Approval can be given to both individuals and to classes of persons, and can be issued with or without conditions on the approved activity. Below are the general approvals that implement the transitional management arrangements relevant to the area of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters).

Approvals

Activities allowed under general approvals

Commercial fishing within the area of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters)

Commercial fishing is allowed in accordance with a general approval from the Director of National Parks for commercial fishing operators holding a current fishing concession issued under the Fisheries Management Act 1991 or applicable New South Wales fisheries legislation authorising the operations in the area of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters). Commercial fishing is allowed in the General Use Zone and Habitat Protection Zones of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters). Commercial fishing is prohibited in the Sanctuary Zone of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters).

Approval of Commercial Fishing (PDF - 259.67 KB)
Approval of Commercial Fishing (DOCX - 758.04 KB)

Recreational (non-commercial) fishing within the area of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters)

Recreational (non-commercial) fishing is allowed in the General Use Zone and Habitat Protection Zones of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters) under general approval, where the activity is taken in accordance with State recreational fishing arrangements. No registration or application is required. Recreational (non-commercial) fishing is prohibited in the Sanctuary Zone of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters).

Recreational fishing - Approval of Non-Commercial Fishing (PDF - 253.71 KB) 
Recreational fishing - Approval of Non-Commercial Fishing (DOCX - 748.39 KB)

Commercial vessel transit within the area of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters)

Commercial vessel transit is allowed in the area of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters).

Approval of Commercial Vessel Transit (PDF - 94.83 KB)
Approval of Commercial Vessel Transit (DOCX - 307.39 KB)

Approval of Commercial Activities, Scientific Research and Structures and Works within the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters)

In the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters) the following activities are allowed to be undertaken by existing approval holders:

  • Commercial tourism
  • Commercial media activities
  • Commercial image capture
  • Scientific research
  • Erecting structures, carrying out works and carrying on an excavation

No registration or application is required for existing approval holders. Existing approval holders must carry out activities in accordance with the conditions of the general approval.  If you do not have an existing approval but wish to undertake one of these activities in the area of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters) please contact the department.

Approval of commercial activities, scientific research and structures and works in the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters) (PDF - 170.66 KB)
Approval of commercial activities, scientific research and structures and works in the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters) (DOCX - 440.19 KB)

Determinations

The Director of National Parks has made determinations in relation to specific activities and how they are to be undertaken within the reserve.

Any other activities

Recreational activities, including scuba diving and snorkelling, are allowed in the area of the General Use Zone and Habitat Protection Zone of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters). Individual approval from the Director of National Parks is required to conduct recreational scuba diving in the former Sanctuary Zone.

An approval or permit may be required for some activities. For example, individual approval is required for scientific research within the former reserve. For further information please contact the Department.

Other approvals may also be required under Part 13 of the EPBC Act.

Individual approval is also required to conduct any mining activities within General Use Zone of the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters).

A proposed mining operation may also be subject to the referral, assessment and approval provisions of Chapter 4 of the EPBC Act (Environment assessment process).

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MARINE USERS

Transitional arrangements for new areas added to the Commonwealth marine reserve estate
Until a management plan come into effect transitional arrangements apply.

  • Under the transitional arrangements, there are NO CHANGES ON THE WATER for users of new areas added to the Commonwealth marine reserves estate.
  • NOTE: There are no changes to management arrangements in the marine reserves that existed prior to the establishment of the new reserves, that is, the same restrictions on activities will continue to apply even where those reserves have been incorporated into new reserves.

General approval - transitional management arrangements

The Director of National Parks has issued a general approval to implement the transitional management arrangements for all new areas added to the Commonwealth marine reserve estate in the Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network.

Activities must be carried out in accordance to the conditions under the general approval.

Management plan

A management plan for the Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network will be developed in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The plan will provide for the protection and conservation of each reserve by setting out how it will be managed, what activities will be allowed or prohibited and how this will be done. The management plan will address key aspects of management over the life of the plan (10 years).

Former management plan

The management plan for the former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters) expired on 3 April 2008. Transitional arrangements apply until a new management plan is in place for the Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network.

Maps

 

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Map of the Former Solitary Islands Commonwealth Marine Reserve - Click image to enlarge

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Contact

Commonwealth Marine Reserves Branch
Parks Australia
Department of the Environment
Edgar Waite Building
203 Channel Highway
Kingston TAS 7050
or
Email: marinereserves@environment.gov.au
Phone: 1800 069 352