Australian Marine Parks

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005.


About this brochure

This general information brochure describes the Reserve’s values and what you can and can’t do in the Reserve.

Mermaid Reef is one of three relatively pristine coral reefs in the Rowley Shoals, located approximately 300 kilometres to the north-west of Broome, Western Australia.

Mermaid Reef was declared a Marine National Nature Reserve by the Australian Government on 21 March 1991. The management plan assigns the Reserve an IUCN (World Conservation Union) Category 1a - strict nature reserve.

The Reserve is managed to maintain ecological processes and systems and to protect the habitats and biodiversity of the Reserve from the pressures associated with human use.

Mermaid Reef contains no permanent land above the high water mark, and is therefore under Commonwealth jurisdiction. The Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation manages the nearby Rowley Shoals Marine Park, which includes Clerke and Imperieuse Reefs.

The total area of the Reserve is 53,984 hectares. Mermaid Reef is 14.5 kilometres long, 7.6 kilometres wide, and the average depth of its lagoon is 20 metres.