Discussing sustainable development of the Houtman Abrolhos

The Conservation Council of WA has teamed up with the Batavia Coast Maritime Institute and NACC to hold an Information Forum on Natural Resource Management at the Houtman Abrolhos this month.
The biggest island of the Pelsaert Group of the Abrolhos Islands off Geraldton stretches towards the horizon.

There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the future of the world class Houtman Abrolhos island group this year with the Barnett Government announcing it would transform the area into a National Park in August.

This plan was put on temporary hold during the change of State Government however, the McGowan Government has since confirmed its commitment to progressing the plan with a $10 million State Budget allocation.

According to WA Premier Mark McGowan, the Government’s vision for the Abrolhos Islands is to create a world-class tourism experience while maintaining world’s best-practice environmental management.

“The islands have the potential to be a big tourism drawcard for interstate and international visitors but it’s crucial that any plans are managed the right way, with the protection of the environment a key focus” he said.

In addition, the State Government recently announced the opening of the Mid West Aquaculture Development Zone at the Abrolhos Islands. 

These zones provide “investment-ready” areas that will serve to fast-track aquaculture license applications for growing finfish species such as yellow-tailed kingfish in sea cages.

Read the full media release for the National Park and the aquaculture zones here.

With so much attention focused on these islands, now seems like a good time to discuss their unique natural resource values and how they might be sustained in the face of increasing pressures. After all, it’s these natural resources that tourists will want to experience.

NACC’s Coastal and Marine Program Coordinator said the Houtman Abrolhos forum was a full day of presentations by a range of natural resource managers on topics such as industry development, environmental conservation and threatened species management.

“It will be a great opportunity to learn about the amazing natural heritage of the islands and some of the challenges they will face in the near future” he said.

RSVPs to the forum are essential, please see the flyer and program here for further details.

NACC’s support of this forum is made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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