Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve - Management
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MARINE USERS
Until a new management plan come into effect, there will be no changes to management arrangements for the renamed Mermaid 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 Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve, you are able to continue to operate under the terms of your existing approval.
- No additional administrative requirements apply.
Transitional management arrangements
Transitional arrangements for the area of the former Mermaid Reef Marine National Nature Reserve will maintain the level of protection afforded to these areas by the previous reserve management arrangements. These arrangements will remain in place until a new management plan is finalised for the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserve network.
Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), any activity in a marine reserve requires approval from the Director of National Parks in the period between proclamation of the reserves and the implementation of a management plan.
The approval from the Director of National Parks is issued under section 359B of the EPBC Act. Approval can be given to both individuals and to classes of persons, and can be issued with or without conditions on the approved activity. Below is the general approval issued for the area of the former Mermaid Reef Marine National Nature.
Approval of Commercial Activities, Scientific Research and Structures and Works within the Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve
In the Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve the following activities are allowed to be undertaken by existing approval holders:
- Commercial tourism
- Commercial media activities
- Commercial image capture
- Scientific research
- Erecting structures, carrying out works and carrying on an excavation
No registration or application is required for existing approval holders. Existing approval holders must carry out activities in accordance with the conditions of the general approval. If you do not have an existing approval but wish to undertake one of these activities in the area of the Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve please contact the department.
Approval of commercial activities, scientific research and structures and works in the Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve (PDF - 280.22 KB)
Approval of commercial activities, scientific research and structures and works in the Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve (DOCX - 681.33 KB)
Independent visitors do not need an approval to visit Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve, however they should:
- contact the department prior to their visit
- book a mooring (see Mooring and anchoring below)
- consider the draught of their vessel and the relatively shallow lagoon entry. Vessels with a draught up to 2 metres are able to enter safely on any tide, up to 3 metres are able to enter safely at a tide of 2 metres or more and over 3 metres should not enter the lagoon for safety reasons
- be aware that Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve is a very remote, exposed location and so should be adequately prepared for their visit to the reserve.
Mooring and anchoring
Four moorings have been installed at Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve for visitor use. These should be booked through the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation, Broome Office (08 9195 5500). For safety reasons, visitors should follow the rules and restrictions noted on the mooring tags. In particular, note that moorings are certified for use in winds up to 40 knots only.
It is an offence for any person to anchor outside the designated anchorage area. To protect Mermaid's fragile features such as coral, visitors should only anchor in the designated anchorage area if all the moorings are being used.
The shipwreck, located on the western side of Mermaid Reef, is protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 as being of historic significance. It is an offence for any person to damage, interfere with, dispose of or remove any part of the historic shipwreck without authorisation.
The Director of National Parks has made determinations in relation to specific activities and how they are to be undertaken within the reserve.
Any other activities
An approval or permit may be required for some additional activities (for example, scientific research; commercial tourism operations). For further information please contact the department.
Other approvals may also be required under Part 13 of the EPBC Act.
Information for visitors
Mermaid Reef Marine National Nature Reserve - Information for visitors describes the management arrangements for the renamed Mermaid Reef Marine National Nature Reserve and provides advice on how visitors, and other users of Mermaid, should meet their obligations under the management arrangements.
A management plan for the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network will be developed in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The plan will provide for the protection and conservation of each reserve by setting out how it will be managed, what activities will be allowed or prohibited and how this will be done. The management plan will address key aspects of management over the life of the plan (10 years).
Former management plan
The former management plan for the Mermaid Reef Marine National Nature Reserve expired on 16 May 2007. Transitional arrangements apply until the new management plan for the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network comes into effect.
Commonwealth Marine Reserves Branch
Department of the Environment
Edgar Waite Building
203 Channel Highway
Kingston TAS 7050
Phone: 1800 069 352