Australian Marine Parks

Graham Edgar, Camille Mellin, Emre Turak, Rick Stuart-Smith, Antonia Cooper, Dani Ceccarelli. Report to Parks Australia, Department of the Environment, 2020.


Executive summary

The North-west Marine Parks Network extends from the northern Kimberley to Shark Bay, off Western Australia, and includes shallow, turbid marine habitats with deeper areas and oceanic reefs further offshore. The major offshore coral reefs in the North-west region include Ashmore, Hibernia, Scott, Cartier, Seringapatam, and the Rowley Shoals, and coastal reefs have formed at Ningaloo Reef and in the Kimberley Region.

Two isolated reefs in the North-west region are currently protected as Sanctuary Zones, equivalent to the IUCN’s category Ia: Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. A further reef, Mermaid Reef, is IUCN Category II.

This report presents the findings of a repeat survey conducted by Reef Life Survey across the North-west Marine Parks Network’s reefs, with a focus on comparing coral reef communities from this survey with results of the 2013 baseline survey, and comparing protected with reference reefs.