Declared Fish Habitat Area summary - Escape River

Escape River declared Fish Habitat Area

Escape River declared Fish Habitat Area


20 km south of Cape York, includes the southern part of Newcastle Bay, mouth of Escape River and Jacky Jacky Creek.

Plan number

FHA-060 (PDF, 307.1KB)


27,506 ha

Management level


Declaration dates

19 November 1983 (original declaration)
1 July 2010 (redeclared to cadastral boundaries and redefine seaward boundary)

Local government

Torres and Cook shire councils

Management features

Conservation and management of essential fish habitat; conservation of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries resources; Department of Primary Industries survey stations sampled in the 1980s at the mouth of Escape River and upstream.

Habitat values

Extensive closed Rhizophora zone interspersed with small patches of open Avicennia and Ceriops; medium density seagrass beds between Turtle Island and mainland.

Fisheries values

Largest pearl culture area in Queensland; important barramundi and commercial prawn habitat; important recreational usage from Cape York including fishing safaris; barramundi, blue salmon; grey mackerel; queenfish; grunter; mangrove jack; mud crabs; brown tiger prawns; endeavour prawns; western king prawns; pearl oysters.

Unique features

Escape River–Kennedy Inlet system has the most extensive stand of medium-tall mangroves in Queensland.

Other values

Important dugong, turtle and estuarine crocodile habitat.