There are four Sanctuary Zones and one Rock Lobster Sanctuary in Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park, each one unique and designed to protect important habitats, marine species, breeding grounds or refuge areas. These are important conservation areas where fishing and all other extractive activities are not allowed.
Gleesons Landing Rock Lobster Sanctuary Zone
This sanctuary zone was established to protect rock lobsters by PIRSA fisheries.
Chinamans Hat Sanctuary Zone
This sanctuary zone extends off the Innes National Park shoreline past the distinctive Chinamans Hat Island and beyond Seal Island into Investigator strait. Shore based line fishing is still allowed from Chinamans Hat beach, however beyond casting distance all marine life is protected. In the bay behind the island, the water conditions are often calm enough to enjoy a snorkel or dive. Diving in this zone will reveal a mix of habitats from seagrass beds, to large limestone caves. The bottom is covered with low profile reefs, dispersed with sand, seagrass and kelp beds, habitat for a wide variety of marine life, including the charismatic blue groper and his harem of green females. You will often be joined by ocean sweep and see Redfish darting behind boulders, and if you look under ledges you might see an iridescent Blue Devil fish, while less than a foot long they can live for over 30 years. In the shallows it is common to see schools of fish or a stingray searching the sand for food and if you are lucky a leafy sea dragon swaying amongst the kelp.
Orcades Banks Sanctuary Zone
This sanctuary zone lies in the middle of Investigator strait, nearly 10 nautical miles off the coast and will only be reached in large boats. It is an area of deep water where whiting spawning has been reported.
Waterfall Creek Sanctuary Zone
This is a very small sanctuary on the north coast of the remote western end of Kangaroo Island. Large blue groper are known to live in this zone.