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Marine sanctuary zones

We all play a role in preserving marine life on Wadjemup / Rottnest Island.
School of fish
School of fish

Protecting our marine life


When you dive beneath the surface on Wadjemup, a whole new world is revealed with some of the most biodiverse marine gardens you’ll find anywhere. Approximately 400 species of fish and 20 species of coral call Rottnest Island home, and snorkelers, divers, and swimmers all have access to these underwater living sanctuaries. 

In order to preserve Rottnest Island's unique marine environment, the island has five Marine Sanctuary Zones: 


  • Kingston Sanctuary Zone (Thomson Bay), which protects the four shipwrecks that lie within the area, including Gem, Janet, Denton Holme and Macedon, all wrecked in the late 1800s. 
  • Parker Point Sanctuary Zone to protect the pocillopora (pink) coral reef. 
  • Green Island Sanctuary Zone as it is an important habitat for male Australian sea lions. 
  • Armstrong Bay Sanctuary Zone where you’ll find important seagrass meadows.  
  • West End Demersal Sanctuary Zone, established to protect bottom-dwelling or ‘demersal’ species, such as the western rock lobster, and dhufish.
If you’re planning to explore these beautiful underwater sanctuaries, visit our Snorkelling & Diving page to learn how you can minimise your impact while maximising your experience.
Fishing, Wadjemup / Rottnest Island
Geordie Bay jetty

Are you planning on fishing?

Whether it’s from the beach, a jetty or a boat, there’s no shortage of great fishing spots around Rottnest Island. However, fishing can damage marine conservation efforts in some areas. 

Take the time to get familiar with our sanctuary maps and the Recreational Fishing Rules for Western Australia before packing the fishing gear, as each marine sanctuary zone has a different set of fishing guidelines.

Learn more about fishing at Rottnest Island

What you need to know about boating

If you BYOB (bring your own boat), it’s important that you do so safely. That means considering the safety for you, other people, and marine life. 

Marine sanctuary zones are particularly sensitive to boats powering through or, even more so, anchoring in the fragile ecosystem.

So, before you take the boat over to Rottnest Island, visit the Rottnest Island Authority website for sanctuary maps and important notices to mariners, and download the current Marine and Boating Guide.

Learn more about boating on Rottnest Island