Ecotourism Workshop A Real Hit With Locals

Community members packed The Hive earlier this month to hear from experts and have their say about the future of ecotourism at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands.

Attendees heard from international tourism expert, Associate Professor David Newsome who shared his knowledge about adequate protected area management and sustainable nature based tourism at seabird breeding sites.  Whilst Dr Nic Dunlop from the Conservation Council WA focused on the role of science and conservation tourism in monitoring the potential impacts of tourism.

The interactive workshop provided community stakeholders the opportunity to have input into HACN’s submission to DBCA’s proposed management plans and outcomes which will help shape future engagement and action.

HACN committee member Dr Indre Asmussen said, “Everybody loved the workshop, we had lots of positive feedback and the presenters are very keen to run more sessions.”

“Outcomes from the session will give HACN some direction, starting with the creation of a voluntary code of conduct,” Said Dr Asmussen.


Outcomes from the session included:

  • All stakeholders need to continue to work together, collaborate and compromise. Consultation of stakeholders is essential to gain the best outcomes for the Houtman Abrolhos Islands and the local community.
  • The need for an interim zoning system to be put into place when the Abrolhos Island National Park is gazetted. This will help to protect the islands until the Houtman Abrolhos Island Management Plan can be created and implemented.
  • Participants identified the need for HACN to develop an interim voluntary code of conduct to guide and educate users, until the regulatory framework catches up. (It could up date “The Abrolhos Islands Information Guide, Department of Fisheries 2012).
  • HACN will hold other events to inform and consult the community and stakeholders in Geraldton and Perth.
  • HACN would like other users to join the network to understand, advocate and meet the existing needs of Island users.

If you would like to know more about the Houtman Abrolhos Conservation Network you can get in contact with them via their Facebook page or email them directly at   


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