North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network


The North-west marine region covers almost 1.07 million km2 and includes a diverse range of tropical and sub-tropical marine environments, such as the Commonwealth waters surrounding and adjacent to the Rowley Shoals, the Kimberley coast, Eighty Mile Beach the Montebello Island, as well as the Carnarvon Canyon and the carbonate banks, shoals and pinnacles on the North-west shelf.


Transitional arrangements 

Until a management plan comes into effect transitional arrangements apply.

  • Under the transitional arrangements, there are NO CHANGES ON THE WATER for users of new areas added to the Commonwealth marine reserves estate.
  • NOTE: There are no changes to management arrangements in the marine reserves that existed prior to the establishment of the new reserves, that is, the same restrictions on activities will continue to apply even where those reserves have been incorporated into new reserves.

Click on the map or select a reserve from the list below

Map of the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network
Argo-Rowley Terrace Commonwealth Marine ReserveMontebello Commonwealth Marine ReserveGascoyne Commonwealth Marine ReserveCarnarvon Canyon Commonwealth Marine ReserveShark Bay Commonwealth Marine ReserveKimberley Commonwealth Marine ReserveRoebuck Commonwealth Marine ReserveEighty Mile Beach Commonwealth Marine ReserveDampier Commonwealth Marine ReserveCartier Island Commonwealth Marine ReserveAshmore Island Commonwealth Marine ReserveMermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine ReserveNingaloo Commonwealth Marine ReserveKimberley Commonwealth Marine ReserveKimberley Commonwealth Marine Reserve

The North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network covers 335,437 km2 and includes 13 Commonwealth Marine Reserves. The reserves are:

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 North-west 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 North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network will provide additional protection for many species that face serious threats to their survival in other areas of the world. These include five of the world's six species of marine turtle, dugongs, many species of sea snakes and sawfish. The world's largest fish - the whale shark - aggregates every year off the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, while the world's largest population of Humpback whales- estimated to be made up of more than 29 000 individuals - migrates every year from summer feeding grounds in Antarctica to breed in the warm waters off the Kimberley coast.