Hunter Commonwealth Marine Reserve

Click on the Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network map or select a reserve
Temperate East 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.

The new Hunter Commonwealth Marine Reserve covers an area of more than 6 200 km2. A management plan will be prepared for the Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network and will cover all eight new reserves.

Transitional management arrangements apply until a management plan for the Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network is in place.

Overview of Hunter Commonwealth Marine Reserve

6257 km2

Depth range

15-6000 m (approx.)

Types of zoning
  • Multiple Use Zone (IUCN Category VI) - 4519 km2
  • Special Purpose Zone (IUCN Category VI) - 1739 km2

Major conservation values

  • Important habitat for the critically endangered east coast population of grey nurse sharks
  • Biologically important areas for the protected humpback whale, vulnerable white sharks and a number of migratory seabirds
  • Examples of the ecosystems of the Central Eastern Province and the Central Eastern Shelf Province provincial bioregions and the Manning Shelf meso-scale bioregion
  • A range of seafloor features including: abyssal-plain/deep ocean floor, canyons, shelf, slope, and terrace geomorphic features
  • Includes one key ecological feature:
    • Shelf rocky reefs (unique sea-floor feature with ecological properties of regional significance)