Seal Bay Conservation Park
|Seal Bay Conservation Park
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Seal Bay's Australian sea lions
|Nearest town or city||Kingscote|
|Established||10 January 1967|
|Area||6,367 ha (15,730 acres)|
|Visitation||110,000 (in 2014)|
|Managing authorities||Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources|
|Website||Seal Bay Conservation Park|
|See also||Protected areas of South Australia|
Seal Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Kangaroo Island. In order to protect the colony, visitors are only allowed on the beach by paying to go on a guided tour.
The sea lion population on Kangaroo Island had been exploited for economic purposes since the European colonisation. As sea lions were still being hunted as a source of shark bait post 1945, the Field Naturalists Section of the Royal Society of South Australia wrote to the South Australian Museum in 1953 requesting that sea lions be given protection along the southern coast of Kangaroo Island. The request was also supported by both the South Australian Ornithological Association and the fledgling tourism industry on Kangaroo Island. A recommendation was forwarded to the Department of Fisheries and Game for the proclamation of a sanctuary of 10 miles (16 km) in length. A closed area for sea-lions extending from Nobby Islet to Cape Gantheaume was subsequently proclaimed under the Animals and Birds Protection Act 1946 at Seal Beach on 28 October 1954.
Organised tours commenced in 1955 as an initiative of a Kangaroo Island resident. As of 1969, six operators conveyed total of 7525 tourists to the reserve while ‘a large number of people visited the area with private and hire cars’. In 1974, the estimated annual visitation was between 25,000 and 30,000 people while in 1994 it was 70,000 people and as of 2014, it is 110,000.
In 1967, the reserve was re-dedicated as a fauna reserve under the Fauna Conservation Act 1964. along with the inclusion of two prohibited areas intended to protect the breeding area from interference. The reserve was also concurrently dedicated as a Fauna Conservation Reserve under the Crown Lands Act 1929. In 1971, an aquatic reserve in the waters adjoining the Seal Beach foreshore was proclaimed under the Fisheries Act 1971 . In 1972, the reserve was again re-dedicated as the Seal Bay Conservation Park under the newly enacted National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.
Associated protected areas
The Seal Bay Conservation Park is associated with three other protected areas which support the objectives of the park’s management plan. These are the Seal Bay Aquatic Reserve, the Bales Beach Aquatic Reserve and the Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park.
Seal Bay Aquatic Reserve
The Seal Bay Aquatic Reserve was declared in 1971 for the purpose of ‘the protection of a major breeding colony of the Australian sea lion’. The following activities are prohibited in the reserve - access to waters adjoining Seal Bay by members of the public, fishing, and the collection or the removal of any marine organism. The reserve covers the full extent of the coastal frontage of Seal Bay and extends seaward a distance of about 1 nautical mile (1.9 km; 1.2 mi) covering an area of 462 hectares (1,140 acres). Its extent includes the waters around Nobby Islet.
Bales Beach Aquatic Reserve
The Bales Beach Aquatic Reserve was declared after 1971 for the purpose of ‘the protection of a major breeding colony of the Australian sea lion’. The collection or the removal of any marine organism is prohibited within the reserve. The reserve which immediately adjoins the Seal Bay Aquatic Reserve extents eastward for a distance of about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) Bay and also extends seaward a distance of about 1 nautical mile (1.9 km; 1.2 mi). It has an area of 1,263 hectares (3,120 acres). While it is managed in conjunction with the Seal Bay Aquatic Reserve, it is gazetted as a separate aquatic reserve.
Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park
Since 2012, the waters adjoining the shoreline of the conservation park are also part of a restricted access zone and a habitat protection zone located within the boundaries of the Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park.
- "Protected Areas Information System - reserve list (as of 17 Feb 2014)" (PDF). Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "Seal Bay Conservation Park". Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Australian sea lions". Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR). 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Seal Bay: Visiting the park". Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR). 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Moves to protect seals". The News (Adelaide, SA), date= 17 August 1954,. p. 12. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "GOVT. MOVES ON SEAL ‘MASSACRE’". The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), date= 29 October 1954. p. 1. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Management Plan, Seal Bay and Cape Gantheaume Conservation Parks, Kangaroo Island, South Australia" (PDF). 1977. p. 13. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Management Plan, Seal Bay and Cape Gantheaume Conservation Parks, Kangaroo Island, South Australia" (PDF). 1977. p. 14. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Robinson, A. C.; Canty, P., Mooney, T. and Rudduck, P. (1996). "South Australia's offshore islands" (PDF). Australian Heritage Commission. p. 93. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- "Management Plan, Seal Bay and Cape Gantheaume Conservation Parks, Kangaroo Island, South Australia" (PDF). 1977. p. 28. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) (2007), Aquatic Reserves: SEAL BAY - BALES BEACH (PDF), Primary Industries and Regions South Australia
- "Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park Management Plan 2012" (PDF). Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources. 2012. pp. 24/26. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Summary of SA Marine Protected Areas by Type (see 'SA Reserve List' tab)". Australian Government - Department of the Environment. 10 February 2003. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Alteration of boundaries of aquatic reserves, Bales Beach Aquatic Reserve" (PDF). The South Australian Government Gazette. 29 November 2007. p. 4389. Retrieved 6 October 2014.