South-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network - Overview

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MARINE USERS

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.

Summary

Overview of the South-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network
Name South-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network
Network area 508 605 km2
Depth range 15 - 6400 m
Number of Reserves 14 reserves (ranging in size from 630 to 272 000 km2)
Types of zoning
  • Marine National Park Zone (IUCN Category II) - 179 627 km2 (35.3% of the network)
  • Habitat Protection Zone (IUCN Category IV) - 117 712 km2 (23.1% of the network)
  • Multiple Use Zone (IUCN Category VI) - 140 004 km2 (27.5% of the network)
  • Special Purpose Zone (IUCN Category VI) - 61 712 km2 (12.1% of the network)
  • Special Purpose Zone (Oil and Gas Exclusion) (IUCN Category VI) - 9549 km2 (1.9% of the network)

Key conservation values

Australian sea-lion feeding in the waters off Hopkins Island

Australian sea-lion feeding in the waters off Hopkins Island - the South-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network includes foraging habitat for breeding colonies of the threatened Australian sea lion

  • Seasonal calving habitat for the threatened southern right whale
  • Foraging habitat for breeding colonies of the threatened Australian sea lion
  • Foraging habitat for the broad-ranging threatened white shark, blue whale, Indian yellow-nosed albatross and soft-plumaged petrel, and for several species of migratory seabirds
  • Biologically important areas for several whale species, including resting places for migrating humpback whales, areas where sperm whales and killer whales feed, and a migration route for threatened blue whales
  • Fourteen key ecological features, that is, areas and/or species that play a key ecosystem role in the region, such as areas of increased productivity
  • Nine provincial bioregions, nine meso-scale bioregions, 69 depth ranges within provincial bioregions and 16 seafloor types are represented in the network.