Calling for comments on Abrolhos Islands management plans

The WA Government is calling for public comments on draft management plans for the Abrolhos Islands Fish Habitat Protection Area and Abrolhos Reserve.

The Houtman Abrolhos Islands consist of 210 islands off the State’s Mid-West coast. Approximately 2,500 square kilometres of the archipelago’s adjacent waters lie within a biodiverse Fish Habitat Protection Area (FHPA).

The Abrolhos Reserve includes land currently leased and occupied by commercial rock lobster fishers and aquaculture operators. The reserve also includes the intertidal areas of all 210 islands.

The government is seeking proposals that will create the right balance of conservation and sustainable nature-based tourism and economic development for the biodiverse and culturally rich area.

The draft management plans for the FHPA and the Abrolhos Reserve set out proposed management objectives and actions under six strategic priorities:

  • nature conservation and protection;
  • cultural heritage protection;
  • tourism;
  • sustainable fisheries and aquaculture;
  • Abrolhos community; and
  • governance.

The plans also propose new land and marine-based zoning arrangements.

The draft plans are now available for review on the public consultation page of the website.

The Abrolhos Reserve management plans and the FHPA plans, which primarily cover the islands’ waters, complement the Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park draft management plan for the majority of land components of the islands, which was released for consultation in May 2021.

Finalising the collective management plans in 2022 is a key step towards protecting the important values of the Abrolhos and enabling exciting opportunities across its land and waters.

The draft management plans have been informed by the State Government’s Houtman Abrolhos Islands Strategic Direction 2020-24, an independent stakeholder engagement process and a mooring review.

Submissions and comments can be made online before 5pm on 3 April 2022.