South-west Corner Commonwealth Marine Reserve



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 South-west Corner Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Area 271 898 km2
Depth range 15–6400 m (approx.)
Types of zoning
  • Marine National Park Zone (IUCN II)–128 676 km2
  • Habitat Protection Zone (IUCN IV)–91 904 km2
  • Multiple Use Zone (IUCN VI)–36 868 km2
  • Special Purpose Zone (IUCN VI)–4900 km2
  • Special Purpose Zone (Oil & Gas Exclusion) (IUCN VI)–9550 km2

Major conservation values

  • Important migratory area for protected humpback whales and blue whales
  • Important foraging areas for the:
    • threatened white shark
    • threatened Australian sea lion
    • threatened Indian Yellow-nosed albatross and soft-plumaged petrel
    • migratory sperm whale
    • migratory flesh-footed shearwater, short-tailed shearwater and Caspian tern
  • Seasonal calving habitat for the threatened southern right whale
  • Representation of three provincial bioregions (the South-west Transition and Southern Province in the off-shelf area, and the South-west Shelf Province on the continental shelf)  and two meso-scale bioregions (southern end of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste meso-scale bioregion and western and central parts of the Western Australia South Coast meso-scale bioregion)
  • Six key ecological features:
    • Albany Canyon group (high productivity, feeding aggregations)
    • Cape Mentelle upwelling (high productivity)
    • Diamantina Fracture Zone (unique sea-floor feature likely to support deepwater communities characterised by high species diversity and endemism)
    • Naturaliste Plateau (unique sea-floor feature, likely to support deepwater communities characterised by high species diversity and endemism)
    • western rock lobster habitat (species with an important ecological role)
    • Commonwealth marine environment surrounding the Recherche Archipelago (high biodiversity, breeding and resting aggregations, including the most extensive areas of reef on the shelf within the South-west Marine Region)
  • Representation of the Donnelly Banks, east of Augusta, characterised by higher productivity and including nursery habitats