West Cape York Commonwealth Marine Reserve

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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 West Cape York Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Area 16 012 km2
Depth range 5-60 m (approx.)
Types of zoning
  • Marine National Park Zone - IUCN Category II-7957 km2
  • Multiple Use Zone - IUCN Category VI-5871 km2
  • Special Purpose Zone - IUCN Category VI-2184 km2

Major conservation values

  • Important resting area for turtles between egg laying (internesting area), for the threatened:
    • flatback turtle
    • hawksbill turtle
    • olive ridley turtle
  • Important roosting area for aggregations of the migratory lesser frigate bird
  • Examples of the ecosystems of two provincial bioregions: the Northern Shelf Province (which includes the Carpentaria and West Cape York mesoscale bioregions) and the Northeast Shelf Transition Province (which includes the Torres Strait meso-scale bioregion)
  • Includes two key ecological features:
    • Gulf of Carpentaria coastal zone (high productivity; biodiversity and endemism; aggregations of marine life)
    • Gulf of Carpentaria basin (biodiversity; aggregations of marine life)