New WA MPA Protects Humpback Calving Area
More than 1000 humpbacks can be found at Camden Sound during the calving season. The area is also rich in other marine life ranging from coral reefs and mangrove forests to turtles and dugongs. It contains important foraging areas for dolphin species such as the Australian snubfin, Indo-Pacific humpback, and Indo-Pacific bottlenose.
Environment Minister Bill Marmion said a special purpose zone would be created covering about 1670 sq km to protect the calving grounds, with vessels required to remain at least 500m from humpback mothers and calves. There will also be two sanctuary zones comprising about 20 per cent of the marine park area around the Champagny Islands and Montgomery Reef. Some commercial fishing operations will be phased out, with 48 per cent of the marine park closed to commercial trawl fishing and 23 per cent closed to all forms of commercial fishing.
Camden Sound is the first of four new marine parks to be created, with others to be created at Eighty Mile Beach, Roebuck Bay and the North Kimberley.
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