Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve - Activities

Click on the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network map or select a reserve
North-west map


Transitional arrangements

Until a new management plan comes into effect there will be no changes to management arrangements for the renamed Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve.

  • Transitional arrangements involve NO CHANGE ON THE WATER for marine users.
  • If you hold an existing approval to undertake activities within the renamed Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve, you are able to continue to operate under the terms of your existing approval.
  • No additional administrative requirements apply.

Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve (previously named Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve) forms part of the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network. Transitional management arrangements apply until the management plan for the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network comes into effect.

Activities summary

Prohibitions on Public Access
The area of Ashmore Commonwealth Marine Reserve that is assigned the IUCN category Ia is closed to the public. Limited access is permitted to West Island Lagoon and to a small part of West Island.

The following table outlines activities allowed without approval (Tick), allowed with a general approval (GA), allowed with approval (A) or not allowed (Cross) at Ashmore Commonwealth Marine Reserve.

Activities allowed in the reserve
Activity* Area open to the public (IUCN II Zones) Areas closed to the public (IUCN Ia zones)
West Island Lagoon, east beach and central corridor of West Island (see map) Majority of Ashmore Reserve (including Middle & East Islands)
General Access Tick A
Commercial Activities
Fishing (including collecting#) Cross Cross
Filming and Photography A A
Tourism and Charters A A
Other Commercial Activities Cross Cross
Recreational Activities
Scuba diving & snorkelling Tick Cross
Fishing GA** Cross
Scientific Research A A

* Camping and lighting fires is not allowed in any part of the reserve.
** Fishing (finfish only) for subsistence purposes is allowed.
# No collecting allowed. Collecting refers to the collecting of any object, animal or plant from the Reserve, including coral, shells and sedentary species such as sea cucumbers.