A NSW Government website - NSW Marine Estate

Instagram NSW Marine Estate

Greater Sydney region compliance focusing on marine protected areas

Published 9 February 2024 Achieving optimal compliance through educating the community and other stakeholders, and enforcing fisheries and aquatic reserve rules and regulations.
content image Fisheries patrol (Photo credit: Cara Van Der Wal)


Why is this project important?

DPI Fisheries administers fisheries and marine estate laws to manage fisheries resources, aquatic habitats and marine protected areas within NSW.

Fisheries Officers spend many hours on patrol, detecting and preventing illegal fishing and harm to aquatic habitats and marine protected areas.

Illegal activities are serious problems and can reduce the sustainability of fish stocks and the health of marine and estuarine environments across NSW.

The coastline from Newcastle to Wollongong is fringed by the largest urban area in NSW with high numbers of people working in and enjoying the coast.

What are we doing?

This project increases the capacity of Fisheries Officers through patrols, education and coordination of compliance activities across other government agencies, to encourage voluntary compliance as well as detect and prevent illegal activities in the Greater Sydney region.

Marine protected areas in the region are the main focus for this project, including ten aquatic reserves and nine intertidal protected areas.

These areas specifically protect marine biodiversity; however, they are also important to the community for marine education, scientific research, recreation, cultural activities and nature-based tourism.

Compliance action is critical to ensure these areas are sustainable and can be enjoyed by the whole community now and into the future.


Coastal locations from Newcastle in the north, to Lake Illawarra in the south with a focus on aquatic reserves and intertidal protected areas of the Greater Sydney region.

Local government areas - City of Newcastle

Lead agency

Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries


  • Local councils
  • National Parks & Wildlife Service
  • Police and Water Police
  • Transport for NSW
  • Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Fisheries Officers also work with key community groups such as fishing clubs and environmental groups.

Stay up-to-date with our Marine Estate Newsletter

Read privacy policy