Norfolk 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 Norfolk Commonwealth Marine Reserve covers an area of more than 188 000 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 Norfolk Commonwealth Marine Reserve

188 443 km2

Depth range

<15-5000 m (approx.)

Types of zoning

Marine National Park Zone (IUCN Category II)–41 661 km2
Habitat Protection Zone (IUCN Category IV)–20 984 km2
Multiple Use Zone (IUCN Category VI)–125 799 km2

Major conservation values

  • Biologically important areas for protected humpback whales and a number of migratory seabirds
  • The Tasman Front is a region of intermediate productivity that separates the warm, nutrient-poor waters of the Coral Sea from the cold, nutrient-rich waters of the Tasman Sea. It supports high productivity; aggregations of marine life; biodiversity and endemism in the region
  • Includes benthic habitats thought to act as stepping stones for faunal dispersal, connecting deep-water fauna from New Caledonia to New Zealand
  • Examples of the ecosystems of the Norfolk Island Province
  • Represents bank/shoals, basin, canyon, deep/hole/valley, knoll/abyssal-hills/hills/mountains/peak, pinnacle, plateau, ridge, saddle, seamount/guyot, shelf, slope, trench/trough
  • Includes one key ecological feature:
    • Norfolk Ridge (high productivity, aggregations of marine life; biodiversity and endemism)