WESTERN Australia’s first marine park, which runs along the northern suburbs coastline, celebrates its 30th anniversary this month.
Marmion Marine Park covers 9,500ha between Trigg Island and Burns Beach, and features lagoons, reefs and small islands that provide habitats for seabirds, marine mammals and other marine life.
Park co-ordinator Melissa Evans said the creation of the park on March 13, 1987, introduced West Australians to the concept of marine-protected areas and began a movement of conserving areas and providing places for people to enjoy and learn about marine life.
“The marine park attracts as many as 1.75 million visits each year and has become Perth’s primary recreational water activity spot,” Ms Evans said.
“The clear sparkling water and shallow lagoons are inhabited by a wonderful array of marine species.
“Bottlenose dolphins and Australian sea lions can be spotted throughout the year in the park and humpback whales pass through the deeper waters during their annual migration between June and November.” Ms Evans said the marine park provided people with a location for water recreation activities while protecting the marine species and environment.
“A number of diving and snorkelling opportunities exist within the park to view fish that live in the caves and ledges of the reef areas,” she said.
“Along with fish, you can find sea slugs, sponges, sea fans, hydroids, sea urchins, sea squirts and even green turtles in the marine park.
“Mettams Pool is an extremely popular spot for snorkelling as well as the many reefs and small islands in the area.”
The best places to see seabirds include Little Island, Burns Rocks, Trigg Island and Hillarys Boat Harbour.
Marmion Marine Park is now part of a statewide system of marine parks and reserves that protect about 18 per cent of WA waters.
Spanning more than 13,500km, WA’s coastal waters are considered to be among the least disturbed in the world.