Wessel Commonwealth Marine Reserve

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North Network map



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.
Overview of Wessel Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Area 5908 km2
Depth range 5-60 m (approx.)
Types of zoning
  • Marine National Park - IUCN Category II-1632 km2
  • Multiple Use Zone - IUCN Category VI-4276 km2

Major conservation values

  • Important resting area for turtles between egg laying (internesting area), for the threatened:
    • flatback turtle
    • green turtle
    • hawksbill turtle
    • olive ridley turtle
  • Important foraging habitat for breeding aggregations of the
    • migratory common noddy
    • migratory roseate tern
    • listed marine crested tern
  • Examples of the ecosystems of the Northern Shelf Province (including the Arafura, Arnhem-Wessel and Carpentaria meso-scale bioregions)
  • Includes one key ecological feature:
    • Gulf of Carpentaria basin (biodiversity; aggregations of marine life)