Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve (renamed) - Management
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MARINE USERS
Transitional arrangements for renamed marine reserves
From the declaration of Commonwealth marine reserves in November 2012 until new management plans come into effect in July 2014, there will be no changes to management arrangements for the renamed Commonwealth marine reserves that existed prior to the establishment of the new reserves. This includes Marine National Nature Reserves and Marine Parks, whether they continue to exist as discrete reserves or have been incorporated into larger new reserves.
- Transitional arrangements involve NO CHANGE ON THE WATER for marine users.
- If you hold an existing approval to undertake activities within the renamed Commonwealth marine reserves (Ashmore Reef, Cartier Island, Ningaloo and Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserves), you are able to continue to operate under the terms of your existing approval.
- No additional administrative requirements apply.
Interim management arrangements
Interim management arrangements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) for the Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve commenced on 17 May 2007 following the expiry of the most recent management plan. The interim management arrangements will continue unchanged until the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network management plan comes into effect.
Under the current interim management arrangements, visitors to the Mermaid Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve will require approval from the Director of National Parks to conduct certain activities.
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.
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.
The Director of National Parks has issued a general approval for all new areas added to the Commonwealth marine reserve estate in the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network.
Activities must be carried out in accordance to the conditions under the general approval.
A management plan for the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network has been developed in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). This plan provides 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). The management plan for the North-west Network will come into effect on 1 July 2014.
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