Click on the map or select a reserve from the list below
The Temperate East marine region is recognised as an area of global significance for a number of protected marine species. Several significant seamount ridges run parallel to the coast in this region. Scientists have recently discovered that these features support hundreds of species, including some previously unknown to science. The seamounts rise from seafloor depths of approximately 4800 metres to up to 130 metres from the surface (more than twice the height of Mt Kosciuszko), and are home to deepwater shark species that are only found in Australia.
The Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network covers 383 352 km2 and includes 8 separate Commonwealth Marine Reserves. The reserves are:
- Jervis Commonwealth Marine Reserve
- Hunter Commonwealth Marine Reserve
- Cod Grounds Commonwealth Marine Reserve (includes former Cod Grounds Commonwealth Marine Reserve)
- Solitary Islands Commonwealth Marine Reserve (includes former Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters))
- Central Eastern Commonwealth Marine Reserve
- Gifford Commonwealth Marine Reserve
- Lord Howe Commonwealth Marine Reserve (includes former Lord Howe Island Marine Park (Commonwealth Waters) and Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve)
- Norfolk Commonwealth Marine Reserve
The reserves will be managed for the primary purpose of conserving the biodiversity found in them, while also allowing for the sustainable use of natural resources in some areas. The reserves include a vast range of ecosystems, habitats and biological communities representative of the Temperate East Marine Region. The reserves will help ensure our marine environment remains healthy and is more resilient to the effects of climate change and other pressures.
The Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network will provide additional protection for several species listed as endangered or vulnerable under Commonwealth legislation or international agreements, including the critically-endangered east coast population of grey nurse shark and the vulnerable white shark. The network also includes: important offshore reef habitat at Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, Lord Howe Island and at Norfolk Island that support the threatened black cod; the southernmost extent of many reef-building coral species; as well as important breeding, foraging and feeding areas for several species of seabird including the little tern.