Neptune Islands Conservation Park
|Neptune Islands Conservation Park
|Nearest town or city||Port Lincoln|
|Area||145.7 km2 (56.3 sq mi)|
|Managing authorities||Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources|
|See also||Protected areas of South Australia|
Neptune Islands Conservation Park is a protected area occupying most of the Neptune Islands in South Australia about 55 km (34 mi) south-south east of Port Lincoln. It was established in 1967 principally to protect a New Zealand fur seal breeding colony. The conservation park was subsequently expanded to include the adjoining waters in order to control and manage berleying activities used to attract great white sharks. As of 2002, the conservation park is the only place in Australia where shark cage diving to view great white sharks is legally permitted.
The conservation park includes all the islands within the group with the exception of all or part of the southernmost island (known as Lighthouse Island) in the South Neptune Islands where land has been reserved for ongoing use by a lighthouse and the waters within 2 nautical miles (4 km) of the mean low water mark of both groups of islands. The conservation park is classified as an IUCN Category Ia protected area.
The conservation park was proclaimed on 16 March 1967 mainly to conserve the New Zealand fur seal breeding colony on the southern island of the North Neptune Islands which is reported as being one of the largest in Australia. Other features that contributed to the declaration include the small breeding population of Australian sea lions on the North Neptune Islands, Australian sea lion haul out areas on the South Neptune Islands and the breeding/nesting populations of Cape Barren goose, white-bellied sea eagle, osprey and peregrine falcon.
The conservation park was subsequently extended to include the waters within 2 nautical miles (4 km) of the shoreline of both the North and South Neptune Islands via a declaration under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (SA), to regulate and manage great white shark berleying activities around both groups of islands.
1n 1990, most of Lighthouse Island was reportedly added to the conservation park after the conversion of the lighthouse to automatic operation with the exception of some land around the lighthouse and an associated helicopter landing site.
On 29 November 2012, the waters within 2 nautical miles (4 km) of the coastline of both the North and South Neptune Islands at median high water also became part of a protected area known as the Neptune Islands Group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park. The marine park entity provides a level of regulation additional to that of the conservation park in respect to the use of the waters adjoining both groups of islands.
Since 2002, the conservation park is the only venue in Australia where the use of shark cage diving to view great white sharks is legally permitted. Access for shark cage diving is via three operators licensed by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
Fauna intended to be protected by the declaration of the conservation park in 1967.
- "Protected Areas Information System - reserve list (as of 17 Feb 2014)". Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources. p. 5. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- Baker, J.L (2004). Towards a System of Ecologically Representative Marine Protected Areas in South Australian Marine Bioregions - Technical Report. Part 4. Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia. p. 456.
- "National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972". Government of South Australia. p. 87 of 159. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- "CAPAD 2012 South Australia Summary (see 'DETAIL' tab)". CAPAD 2012. Australian Government - Department of the Environment. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- Robinson, A. C.; Canty, P., Mooney, T. and Rudduck, P. (1996). "South Australia's offshore islands". Australian Heritage Commission. pp. 131–132. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- "Neptune Islands Group Ron and Valerie Taylor Marine Park Management plan summary". Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "South Australian Marine Parks take effect today". South Australian Government. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "NEPTUNE ISLANDS GROUP (Ron and Valerie Taylor) MARINE PARK MANAGEMENT PLAN 2012". Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources. pp. 5 & 11. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- Huveneers, C.; Rogers, P.J., Semmens, J., Beckmann, C., Kock, A.A., Page, B. and Goldsworthy, S.D (2012). Effects of the Shark Shield™ electric deterrent on the behaviour of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Final Report to SafeWork South Australia.. Adelaide: South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences),. p. 15.
- "Shark cage diving". Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 22 March 2014.