Australian Marine Parks

Extracted from the Australian Marine Parks South-west Network Management Plan.

Values are broadly defined as:

  • Natural values—habitats, species and ecological communities within marine parks, and the processes that support their connectivity, productivity and function.
  • Cultural values—living and cultural heritage recognising Indigenous beliefs, practices and obligations for country, places of cultural significance and cultural heritage sites.
  • Heritage values—non-Indigenous heritage that has aesthetic, historic, scientific or social significance.
  • Socio-economic values—the benefit of marine parks for people, businesses and the economy.

The values of individual Marine Parks are set out in Schedule 2.

In managing Marine Parks, the Director will need to make decisions about what activities can occur in the marine parks and what actions to take to manage them.

This will involve the Director making decisions that carefully balance the need to protect natural, cultural, heritage and socio-economic values of marine parks with enabling use and managing pressures.

In making these decisions, the Director will carefully consider the impacts and risks to natural, cultural, heritage or socio-economic values for the relevant marine park/s.

The Director will also consider any positive impacts associated with allowing an activity, such as socio-economic or cultural benefits, and ensure that activities are undertaken in a manner that minimises negative impacts.

For some marine parks, such as the Great Australian Bight Marine Park, there is a relatively strong understanding of park values. Where there is less information, environmental features are used as indicators for the types of species and habitats likely to occur.

These include:

  • bioregions
  • water depth
  • seafloor features
  • key ecological features (Schedule 3).

As understanding of marine park values improves over the life of this plan, the Director will make new information about values available on the Parks Australia website.

Other important sources of information on values (also on the Department’s website) include:

  • Species profile and threats database for protected species
  • Directory of important wetlands in Australia
  • Australian heritage database for natural, historic and Indigenous heritage places
  • Australian national shipwreck database for known shipwrecks
  • National Conservation Values Atlas
  • Marine bioregional plan for the South-west Marine Region (2012)
  • South-west marine bioregional plan: bioregional profile (2008).

Statement of significance

The South-west Network was designed to protect representative examples of the region’s ecosystems and biodiversity in accordance with the Goals and principles for the establishment of the National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas in Commonwealth waters (ANZECC, 1998).

Natural values

Bioregions – the South-west Marine Region is divided into areas of ocean with broadly similar characteristics based on the distribution of marine species and seafloor features.

The South-west Network represents examples of the region’s marine environments including ecosystems, species and habitats.

There are nine bioregions represented in the Network (Schedule 2).

Key ecological features – elements of the marine environment considered to be of importance for biodiversity or ecosystem function and integrity, represented in the Network are:

  • Albany Canyons Group and adjacent shelf break
  • ancient coastline at the 90 – 120 metres depth contour
  • Cape Mentelle upwelling
  • Commonwealth marine environment surrounding the Houtman Abrolhos Islands
  • Commonwealth marine environment surrounding the Recherche Archipelago
  • Commonwealth marine environment within and adjacent to Geographe Bay
  • Commonwealth marine environment within and adjacent to the west-coast inshore lagoons
  • Diamantina Fracture Zone
  • Kangaroo Island Pool, canyons and adjacent shelf break, and Eyre Peninsula upwellings
  • Naturaliste Plateau
  • Perth Canyon and adjacent shelf break, and other west-coast canyons;
  • Wallaby Saddle
  • western demersal slope and associated fish communities
  • western rock lobster.

Species and habitats – all species and habitats are important components of the ecosystems represented in the South-west Network.

Many species are protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC ACT) and international agreements such as the:

  • Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS or Bonn Convention)
  • Japan–Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA)
  • China–Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA)
  • Republic of Korea–Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (ROKAMBA).

Further information on these agreements is in Schedule 1.

The South-west Network supports important habitats, including biologically important areas, for a range of protected species.

Biologically important areas are where aggregations of individuals of a protected species breed, forage or rest during migration.

More information on protected species and biologically important areas can be found in the Marine bioregional plan for the South-west Marine Region (2012) and the conservation values atlas on the Department’s website.

Cultural values

Aboriginal people of south-western Australia have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years, in some cases since before rising sea levels created these marine environments.

Sea country refers to the areas of the sea that Aboriginal people are particularly affiliated with through their traditional lore and customs.

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Aboriginal people continue to assert inherited rights and responsibilities over sea country within the Southwest Network.

It is recognised that spiritual corridors extend from terrestrial areas into nearshore and offshore waters, a number of marine animals are totems for Indigenous people, and that songlines pass through marine parks.

Heritage values

Protected places (world, national and Commonwealth heritage, historic shipwrecks)

The EPBC Act protects matters of national environmental significance that are classified as protected places, including world heritage properties and national heritage places.

Places on the Commonwealth Heritage List or shipwrecks listed under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 are also protected places.

Historic shipwrecks are a unique historic value and the region is an area of considerable importance in Australia’s maritime history.

The South-west Network includes many famous shipwrecks such as:

  • the Batavia (1629)
  • Zuytdorp (1712)
  • Twilight (1877)
  • HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran (1941).

More information on located wrecks and shipwrecks historically reported as lost can be found in the Australian national shipwrecks database.

The South-west Network is adjacent to the following internationally listed place:

  • Shark Bay, Western Australia World Heritage Property.

Abrolhos Marine Park is adjacent to Shark Bay World Heritage site. The site was inscribed on the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee in 1991 on the basis of its outstanding universal value.

It includes large and diverse seagrass beds, stromatolites and populations of dugong and threatened species.

Social and economic values

The South-west Network supports a range of important social and economic uses that underpin the prosperity and wellbeing of regional communities.

Shipping, port-related activities and commercial fishing are industries of national economic significance.

Commercial fishing is an important contributor to regional and local economies, with local ocean produce a drawcard for food tourism in the South-west.

The Network also provides some opportunity for offshore mining operations.

Marine tourism activities such as charter fishing, snorkelling, diving and wildlife watching are also important commercial activities that offer unique visitor experiences in places like Geographe and Bremer Bay.

The Network also supports recreational activities including fishing.

Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park

The Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park is located approximately 140 km south-west of Adelaide, adjacent to the South Australian Kangaroo Island Marine Park.

The Marine Park covers an area of 630 km² extending from the South Australian state water boundary, and water depth ranges between 15 metres and 100 metres.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category VI and includes one zone assigned under this plan:

  • Special Purpose Zone (Mining Exclusion) (VI).

Coordinates for the Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park and zone are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with the Spencer Gulf Shelf Province.

It includes one key ecological feature: the Kangaroo Island Pool, canyons and adjacent shelf break and Eyre Peninsula upwellings (valued for high productivity, aggregations of marine life and unique seafloor features with ecological properties of regional significance).

The Marine Park includes shelf habitats surrounding Kangaroo Island that connect to and complement the adjacent South Australian Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of the Spencer Gulf Shelf.

Seasonal winds and ocean currents interact with seafloor features to produce a number of small seasonal upwellings that are important for biological productivity.

The area is noted for its diverse seafloor communities, productivity hotspots and aggregations of marine life associated with seasonal upwellings of nutrient-rich water.

A key ecological feature of the Marine Park is the Kangaroo Island Pool, canyons and adjacent shelf break, and Eyre Peninsula upwellings—an area of nutrient-rich upwellings that enhance productivity, supporting seasonal aggregations of marine species.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include:

  • foraging habitat for seabirds, Australian sea lions and white sharks
  • a calving buffer area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

South Australian Native Title Services is the Native Title Service Provider for South Australian region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing and recreation are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

The Kangaroo Island community values the island’s unique qualities and character, with its wild and relatively pristine coastal and marine environment a tourism drawcard.

Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park

The Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park is located approximately 230 km south-west of Adelaide and 110 km south of Port Lincoln, adjacent to the South Australian Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park.

The Marine Park covers an area of 2335 km² and water depths range between 15 m and 165 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category VI and includes three zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Special Purpose Zone (Mining Exclusion) (VI)
  • Special Purpose Zone (VI).

Coordinates for the Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with the Spencer Gulf Shelf Province.

It includes two key ecological features:

  • the ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth (valued for relatively high productivity, aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism)
  • Kangaroo Island Pool, canyons and adjacent shelf break, and Eyre Peninsula upwellings (valued for high productivity, aggregations of marine life and unique seafloor features with ecological properties of regional significance).

The Marine Park includes shelf habitats surrounding Kangaroo Island that connect to and complement the adjacent South Australian Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park.

Natural values The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of the Spencer Gulf Shelf.

Seasonal winds and ocean currents interact with seafloor features to produce a number of small seasonal upwellings that are important for biolog-ical productivity.

The area is noted for its diverse seafloor communities, productivity hotspots and aggregations of marine life associated with the seasonal upwellings of nutrient rich water.

Key ecological features represented in the Marine Park are:

  • the ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth – an area of high benthic biodiversity and productivity occur where the ancient coastline forms a prominent escarpment
  • Kangaroo Island Pool, canyons and adjacent shelf break, and Eyre Peninsula upwellings—an area of nutrient-rich upwellings that enhance productivity, supporting seasonal aggregations of marine species.

The Marine Park supports a range of species, including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include foraging habitat for seabirds, Australian sea lions, white sharks and pygmy blue and sperm whales, and a calving buffer area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

South Australian Native Title Services is the Native Title Service Provider for South Australian region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing and recreation are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

The Kangaroo Island community values the island’s unique qualities and character, with its wild and relatively pristine coastal and marine environment a tourism drawcard.

Western Eyre Marine Park

The Western Eyre Marine Park is located approximately 123 km² south-west of Port Lincoln and 28 km west of Streaky Bay, adjacent to South Australia’s Investigator, West Coast Bays and Nuyts Archipelago Marine Parks.

The Marine Park covers an area of 57,944 km², extending from the South Australian state water boundary to the edge of Australia’s exclusive economic zone, and water depths range between 15 m and more than 6000 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Western Eyre Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category VI and includes four zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Multiple Use Zone (VI)
  • Special Purpose Zone (VI)
  • Special Purpose Zone (Trawl) (VI).

Coordinates for the Western Eyre Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Western Eyre Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with three bioregions:

  • Spencer Gulf Shelf Province
  • Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition
  • Southern Province.

It includes five key ecological features:

  • the ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth (valued for relatively high productivity, aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism)
  • Kangaroo Island Pool, canyons and adjacent shelf break, and Eyre Peninsula upwelling (valued for high productivity, aggregations of marine life and unique seafloor features with ecological properties of regional significance)
  • mesoscale eddies (valued for high productivity and aggregations of marine life)
  • benthic invertebrate communities of the eastern Great Australian Bight (valued as a species group or community that is nationally and regionally important to biodiversity)
  • and small pelagic fish of the South-west Marine Region (valued as a species group that has a regionally important ecological role).

The Marine Park provides connectivity between deeper offshore waters and the adjacent South Australian Investigator, West Coast Bays and Nuyts Archipelago Marine Parks.

Waters surrounding the Nuyts Archipelago and Investigator Group form part of the ecologically important offshore islands that protect the coastline.

The Marine Park is a hotspot for productivity, with feeding aggregations of marine mammals, sharks and seabirds.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of:

  • Spencer Gulf Shelf—seasonal winds and ocean currents interact with seafloor features to produce a number of small seasonal upwellings that are important for biological productivity. The area is noted for its very diverse seafloor communities, productivity hotspots and aggregations of marine life associated with seasonal upwellings of nutrient-rich water
  • Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition—a vast and shallow area, characterised by an extensive area of flat continental shelf. The invertebrate communities that inhabit the seafloor are among the most diverse in the world. The inshore areas of the bioregion are globally important for the threatened southern right whale and the Australian sea lion
  • Southern Province—includes the deepest ocean areas of the Australian exclusive economic zone, reaching depths of around 5900 m, and is characterised by a long continental slope; numerous, well-developed submarine canyons; and extensive mid-slope terraces such as the Ceduna Terrace.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth—benthic biodiversity and productivity occur where the ancient coastline forms a prominent escarpment
  • Kangaroo Island Pool, canyons and adjacent shelf break, and Eyre Peninsula upwellings—an area of nutrient-rich upwellings that enhance productivity, supporting seasonal aggregations of marine species
  • Mesoscale eddies—important transporters of nutrients and plankton communities, which form at predictable locations off the western and south-western shelf break
  • Benthic invertebrate communities of the eastern Great Australian Bight—includes soft-sediment benthic invertebrate communities of the eastern Great Australian Bight shelf, which form some of the world’s most diverse soft-sediment ecosystems
  • Small pelagic fish of the South-west Marine Region—provide an important trophic link between plankton communities and larger fish-eating predators in this area.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include:

  • breeding and foraging habitat for seabirds
  • foraging habitat for Australian sea lions, white sharks and pygmy blue and sperm whales
  • a calving buffer area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The far west coast region of South Australia includes over 1000 km of coastline along the Nullarbor Cliffs of the Great Australian Bight and the Nyuts Archipelago, and supports a sea based tradition and culture.

The Mirning people have a strong connection to land and sea country of the Nullarbor, and the Wirangu people have a strong connection to land and sea country across the remainder of the far west coastal region.

Fishing is woven into the beliefs and values of this region, through the use of resources such as shell fish, periwinkles, abalone and razorfish; and the sharing of traditional fishing knowledge, catch and meals.

The care and protection of these waters, the coastline, marine life and resources correspond directly with cultural stories, sites and knowledge.

South Australian Native Title Services is the Native Title Service Provider for South Australian region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing, recreation and mining are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

Murat Marine Park

The Murat Marine Park is located 86 km off the west coast south-west of Ceduna, south of the South Australian Nuyts Archipelago Marine Park.

The Marine Park covers an area of 938 km² and is relatively shallow, with water depths between less than 15 m and 70 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Murat Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category II and includes one zone assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II).

Coordinates for the Murat Marine Park and zone are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Murat Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with the Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition.

It includes two key ecological features:

  • benthic invertebrate communities of the eastern Great Australian Bight (valued as a species group or community that is nationally and regionally important to biodiversity)
  • small pelagic fish of the South-west Marine Region (valued as a species group which has a regionally important ecological role).

The Marine Park includes Yatala Reef, a detached reef located in the south-west corner of the Marine Park about 70 km offshore with depths of less than two meters in places.

The Marine Park is a hotspot for productivity, with feeding aggregations for a range of species of marine mammals, sharks and seabirds.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of the Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition—a vast and shallow area characterised by an extensive area of flat continental shelf.

The invertebrate communities that inhabit the seafloor are among the most diverse in the world.

The inshore areas of the bioregion are globally important for the threatened southern right whale and the Australian sea lion.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • benthic invertebrate communities of the eastern Great Australian Bight—includes the soft-sediment benthic invertebrate communities of the eastern Great Australian Bight shelf, which form some of the world’s most diverse soft-sediment ecosystems
  • small pelagic fish of the South-west Marine Region—provide an important trophic link between plankton communities and larger fish-eating predators in this area.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include foraging habitat for seabirds and Australian sea lions.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing. Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Mirning people have a strong attachment to land and sea country of the Nullarbor, while the Wirangu people have a strong attachment to land and sea country across the remainder of the far west coast region.

The care and protection of the waters, coastline, marine creatures, marine environments and sea resources correspond directly with cultural stories and important cultural sites and knowledge.

South Australian Native Title Services is the native title service provider for South Australian region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Social and economic values

The South-west Network supports a range of social and economic activities that contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

The remoteness of the Marine Park makes access difficult with most recreational and tourism activities confined to state waters.

Commercial ships may pass through the Marine Park to and from the port of Ceduna.

Great Australian Bight Marine Park

The Great Australian Bight Marine Park is located approximately 12 km south-east of Euclaand 174 km west of Ceduna, adjacent to the South Australian Far West Coast and Nuyts Archipelago Marine Parks.

The Marine Park covers an area of 45,822 km², extending from South Australian state water boundary to the edge of Australia’s exclusive economic zone, and a water depth range between less than 15 m and 6000 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Great Australian Bight Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

It includes the area of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park (Commonwealth Waters) originally proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 on 17 April 1998.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category VI and includes four zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Multiple Use Zone (VI)
  • Special Purpose Zone (Mining Exclusion) (VI)
  • Special Purpose Zone (VI).

Coordinates for the Great Australian Bight Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Great Australian Bight Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with two bioregions: Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition; and Southern Province.

It includes three key ecological features:

  • ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth (valued for relatively high productivity, aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism)
  • benthic invertebrate communities of the eastern Great Australian Bight (valued as a species group or community that is nationally and regionally important to biodiversity)
  • small pelagic fish of the South-west Marine Region (valued as a species group which has a regionally important ecological role).

The Marine Park contains a number of prominent seafloor features including:

  • the Ceduna Terrace, an unusually large expanse of terrace that lies between the continental shelf and slope
  • Nullarbor Canyon, a large elongated canyon that cuts through the terrace
  • D’Entrecasteaux Reef (also known as Iles des Martins and Iles Montenotte), an emergent reef in the north-east corner of the Marine Park
  • Anna’s Pimple, a cone-shaped volcanic pinnacle rising 200 m above the surrounding soft sediments in the southern part of the Marine Park at 1800 m depth.

The Marine Park includes habitats connecting to and complementing the adjacent South Australian Far West Coast and Nuyts Archipelago Marine Parks

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of:

  • Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition—a vast and shallow area, characterised by an extensivearea of flat continental shelf. The invertebrate communities that inhabit the seafloor are among themost diverse in the world. The inshore areas of the bioregion are globally important for the threatened southern right whale and the Australian sea lion
  • Southern Province—includes the deepest ocean areas of the Australian EEZ, reaching depths of around 5900 m, and that is characterised by a long continental slope, numerous, well-developed submarine canyons, and extensive mid-slope terraces such as the Ceduna Terrace.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth—high benthic biodiversity and productivity occur where the ancient coastline forms a prominent escarpment
  • Benthic invertebrate communities of the eastern Great Australian Bight—includes soft-sediment benthic invertebrate communities of the eastern Great Australian Bight shelf, which form some of the world’s most diverse soft-sediment ecosystems
  • Small pelagic fish of the South-west Marine Region—provides an important trophic link between plankton communities and larger fish-eating predators in this area.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include:

  • foraging habitat for seabirds, Australian sea lions, white sharks and pygmy blue and sperm whales
  • a calving area, migratory pathway and large aggregation area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Mirning and Wirangu people have responsibilities for sea county in the Marine Park.

The far west coast region of South Australia includes over 1000 km of coastline along the Nullarbor Cliffs of the Great Australian Bight and the Nyuts Archipelago, and supports a sea based tradition and culture.

The Mirning people have a strong connection to land and sea country of the Nullarbor, and the Wirangu people have a strong connection to land and sea country across the remainder of the far west coastal region.

Fishing is woven into the beliefs and values of this region, through the use of resources such as shell fish, periwinkles, abalone and razorfish; and the sharing of traditional fishing knowledge, catch and meals.

The care and protection of these waters, the coastline, marine life and resources correspond directly with cultural stories, sites and knowledge.

South Australian Native Title Services is the native title service provider for South Australian region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing, and mining are important activities in the Marine Park. These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

Twilight Marine Park

The Twilight Marine Park is located approximately 245 km south-west of Eucla and 373 km north-east of Esperance, adjacent to the Western Australian state water boundary.

The Marine Park covers an area of 4641 km² and water depths between less than 15 m and 70 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Twilight Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category II and includes two zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Special Purpose Zone (Mining Exclusion) (VI).

Coordinates for the Twilight Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Twilight Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with the Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition.

The Marine Park includes south coast continental shelf environments, contributing to the connectivity of protected areas across shelf ecosystems.

The inshore location of the Marine Park captures shallow depths.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of the Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition—a vast and shallow area characterised by an extensive area of flat continental shelf.

The invertebrate communities that inhabit the seafloor are among the most diverse in the world.

The inshore areas of the bioregion are globally important for the threatened southern right whale and the Australian sea lion.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include:

  • foraging habitat for seabirds, Australian sea lions and white sharks
  • a calving buffer area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing. Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Mirning and Spinifex people have responsibilities for sea country in the Marine Park.

Local traditional owners recognise Kaart, Koort and Waarnginy (head, heart and talking) as bringing together the narratives and protocols that have been practiced for thousands of years and the kinship that influences all stages and cycles of life.

Traditional owners have responsibility for cultural values and are focussed on the creation and regeneration of spiritual, ethical, cultural and practical benefits and opportunities for marine systems.

The Goldfields Land and Sea Council is the Native Title Representative Body for the Goldfields region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing and recreation including fishing, are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

Eastern Recherche Marine Park

The Eastern Recherche Marine Park is located approximately 135 km east of Esperance, adjacent to the Recherche Archipelago, close to the Western Australian Cape Arid National Park.

The Marine Park covers an area of 20,575 km², extending from the Western Australia state water boundary to the edge of Australia’s exclusive economic zone, and a water depth range from less than 15 m to 6000 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Eastern Recherche Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category II and includes two zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Special Purpose Zone (VI).

Coordinates for the Eastern Recherche Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Eastern Recherche Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with three bioregions:

  • South-west Shelf Province
  • Southern Province
  • the Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition.

It includes three key ecological features: mesoscale eddies (valued for high productivity and aggregations of marine life); ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth (valued for relatively high productivity, aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism); and the Commonwealth marine environment surrounding the Recherche Archipelago (valued for aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism).

The Marine Park includes representative examples of habitats adjacent to the Recherche Archipelago, an area recognised globally for its biodiversity.

The Archipelago contains over 150 islands stretching over 200 km² of ocean and represents the most extensive area of rocky reef environments in the region.

Its reef and seagrass habitats support a high diversity of warm temperate species.

The Marine Park captures one of the few areas where the reef extends into Commonwealth waters and includes Chester and Pollock reefs which are located south of Salisbury Island about 60–70 km offshore.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of:

  • South-west Shelf Province—marine life in this area is very diverse and clearly influenced by the warm waters of the Leeuwin Current. It includes globally important biodiversity hotspots, such as the waters surrounding the Recherche Archipelago
  • Southern Province—includes the deepest ocean areas of the Australian EEZ, reaching depths of around 5900 m, and is characterised by a long continental slope, numerous, well-developed submarine canyons, and extensive mid-slope terraces
  • Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition—a vast and shallow area characterised by an extensive area of flat continental shelf. The invertebrate communities that inhabit the seafloor are among the most diverse in the world. The inshore areas of the bioregion are globally important for threatened southern right whale and the Australian sea lion.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Mesoscale eddies—important transporters of nutrients and plankton communities that form at predictable locations off the western and south-western shelf break
  • Ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth—high benthic biodiversity and productivity occur where the ancient coastline forms a prominent escarpment
  • Commonwealth marine environment surrounding the Recherche Archipelago—an area that supports high species biodiversity and provides important breeding and resting areas for marine life.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include foraging habitat for seabirds, Australian sea lions and white sharks, and a calving buffer area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing. Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Ngadju and Esperance Nyungar people have responsibilities for sea country in the Marine Park.

Local traditional owners recognise Kaart, Koort and Waarnginy (head, heart and talking) as bringing together the narratives and protocols that have been practiced for thousands of years and the kinship that influences all stages and cycles of life.

Traditional owners have responsibility for cultural values and are focussed on the creation and regeneration of spiritual, ethical, cultural and practical benefits and opportunities for marine systems.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council is the Native Title Service Provider for the South-west region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Historic shipwrecks

The Marine Park contains two known shipwrecks listed under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 197:

  • Rodondo (wrecked in 1894)
  • Start (wrecked in 1879).

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing, mining and recreation, including fishing, are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

South-west Corner Marine Park

The South-west Corner Marine Park is located adjacent to the Western Australian Ngari Capes Marine Park, covering an extensive offshore area that is closest to Western Australia state waters approximately 48 km west of Esperance, 73 km west of Albany and 68 km west of Bunbury, and extends to the edge of Australia’s exclusive economic zone.

The Marine Park covers an area of 271,833 km² and a water depth range from less than 15 m to 6400 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed South-west Corner Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category VI and includes five zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Habitat Protection Zone (IV)
  • Multiple Use Zone (VI)
  • Special Purpose Zone (Mining Exclusion) (VI)
  • Special Purpose Zone (VI).

Coordinates for the South-west Corner Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The South-west Corner Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with three bioregions:

  • Southern Province
  • South-west Transition
  • South-west Shelf Province.

It includes six key ecological features:

  • Albany Canyon group and adjacent shelf break (valued for high productivity, aggregations of marine life and unique seafloor features with properties of regional significance)
  • Cape Mentelle upwelling (valued for high productivity and aggregations of marine life); Diamantina Fracture Zone (valued as a unique seafloor feature with ecological properties of regional significance)
  • Naturaliste Plateau (valued as a unique seafloor feature with ecological properties of regional significance)
  • western rock lobster (valued as a species that plays a regionally important ecological role)
  • and ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth (valued for relatively high productivity, aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism).

As the largest Marine Park in the South-west Network, it contains a wide range of important ecosystems in both shallow and deep water, reaching abyssal depths including the Diamantina Fracture Zone, Naturaliste Plateau and Donnelly Banks, along with many reefs and canyons.

The Marine Park contributes to a transect that extends from coastal land (Leeuwin–Naturaliste and D’entrecasteaux National Parks), to coastal waters (Ngari Capes Marine Park) and the deep ocean.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of:

  • Southern Province—includes the deepest ocean areas of the Australian EEZ, reaching depths of around 5900 m, and is characterised by a long continental slope incised by numerous, well developed submarine canyons and the Diamantina Fracture Zone, a rugged area of deep seafloor comprising seamounts and many ridges and troughs.
  • South-west Transition—the main features of this area are the Naturaliste Plateau, the deepest submarine plateau along Australia’s continental margins. The Plateau supports rich and diverse biological communities. Deep-water mixing results from the dynamics of major ocean currents when these meet the seafloor.
  • South-west Shelf Province—marine life in this area is diverse and influenced by the warm waters of the Leeuwin Current. A small upwelling of nutrient-rich water off Cape Mentelle during summer increases productivity locally, attracting aggregations of marine life.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Albany Canyon group and adjacent shelf break—a feature consisting of 32 canyons cut deeply into the steep continental slope. The canyons are believed to be associated with small periodic upwellings that enhance productivity and attract aggregations of marine life
  • Cape Mentelle upwelling—draws relatively nutrient-rich water from the base of the Leeuwin Current, up the continental slope and onto the inner continental shelf, where it results in phytoplankton blooms at the surface
  • Diamantina Fracture Zone—a unique seafloor feature consisting of a rugged, deep-water environment of seamounts and many closely spaced troughs and ridges. The ridges and seamounts can affect water dynamics and flow, enhancing productivity, and may act as ‘stepping stones’ for species dispersal and migration across the region and the wider abyssal plain
  • Naturaliste Plateau—the combination of this unique seafloor feature’s structural complexity, mixed water dynamics and relative isolation indicate that it supports deep-water communities with high species diversity and endemism;
  • Western rock lobster—plays an important trophic role in many of the inshore ecosystems of the South-west Marine Region. Western rock lobsters are an important part of the food web on the inner shelf, particularly as juveniles
  • Ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth—high benthic biodiversity and productivity occur where the ancient coastline forms a prominent escarpment.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include:

  • foraging habitat for seabirds, Australian sea lions, white sharks and sperm whales
  • a migratory pathway for Antarctic blue, pygmy blue and humpback whales
  • a calving buffer area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Nyungar/Noongar people have responsibilities for sea country in the Marine Park.

Traditional owners have maintained cultural responsibilities for sea country as passed down from elders, to keep the oceans healthy, to support spiritual wellbeing and to uphold and protect obligatory cultural responsibilities for future generations.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council is the Native Title Service Provider for the South-west region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Historic shipwrecks

The Marine Park contains 10 known shipwrecks listed under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing, commercial shipping, and recreation, including fishing, are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

Bremer Marine Park

The Bremer Marine Park is located approximately half-way between Albany and Esperance, offshore from the Fitzgerald River National Park, extending from the Western Australian state water boundary.

The Marine Park covers an area of 4472 km² and water depths from 15 m to 5000 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Bremer Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category II and includes two zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Special Purpose Zone (Mining Exclusion) (VI).

Coordinates for the Bremer Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Bremer Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with two bioregions:

  • Southern Province
  • South-west Shelf Province.

It includes two key ecological features:

  • Albany Canyon group and adjacent shelf break (valued for high productivity, aggregations of marine life and unique seafloor features with properties of regional significance)
  • ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth (valued for relatively high productivity, aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism).

The Marine Park contains the Bremer Canyon and significant calving and aggregation area for whales as well as important foraging areas for sharks, sea lions, and a range of seabirds.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of:

  • Southern Province—includes the deepest ocean areas of the Australian EEZ, reaching depths of around 5900 m, and is characterised by a long continental slope incised by numerous, welldeveloped submarine canyons
  • South-west Shelf Province—marine life in this area is very diverse and clearly influenced by the warm waters of the Leeuwin Current. The sheltered bays along the south coast are important southern right whale calving areas.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Albany Canyon group and adjacent shelf break—a feature consisting of 32 canyons, including Bremer Canyon, cut deeply into the steep continental slope. The canyons are believed to be associated with small periodic upwellings that enhance productivity and attract aggregations of marine life
  • Ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth—high benthic biodiversity and productivity occur where the ancient coastline forms a prominent escarpment.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include:

  • foraging habitat for seabirds, Australian sea lions, and white sharks
  • a migratory pathway for humpback whales
  • a significant calving area for southern right whales.

The Marine Park includes canyons—important aggregation areas for killer whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Noongar people have responsibilities for sea country in the Marine Park.

Local traditional owners recognise Kaart, Koort and Waarnginy (head, heart and talking) as bringing together the narratives and protocols that have been practiced for thousands of years and the kinship that influences all stages and cycles of life.

Traditional owners have responsibility for cultural values and are focussed on the creation and regeneration of spiritual, ethical, cultural and practical benefits and opportunities for marine systems.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council is the Native Title Service Provider for the South-west region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Social and economic values Tourism, commercial fishing and recreation, including fishing, are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

Geographe Marine Park

The Geographe Marine is located in Geographe Bay, approximately 8 km west of Bunbury and 8 km north of Busselton, adjacent to the Western Australian Ngari Capes Marine Park.

The Marine Park covers an area of 977 km2, extending from the Western Australian state water boundary, and a water depth range between 15 m and 70 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Geographe Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category VI and includes four zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Habitat Protection Zone (IV)
  • Multiple Use Zone (VI)
  • Special Purpose Zone (Mining Exclusion) (VI).

Coordinates for the Geographe Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Geographe Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with the South-west Shelf Province.

It includes two key ecological features:

  • the Commonwealth marine environment within and adjacent to Geographe Bay (valued for high productivity and aggregations of marine life, and high levels of biodiversity and endemism)
  • western rock lobster (valued as a species that plays a regionally important ecological role).

The Marine Park contains an area of high productivity supported by extensive and diverse seagrass beds that cover approximately 60 per cent of Geographe Bay.

Tropical and temperate seagrass species account for 80 per cent of the benthic primary production in the area.

These meadows provide habitat for fish and invertebrates.

Geographe Bay provides important nursery habitat, resting areas and foraging habitats for sharks, whales and seabirds.

The Marine Park includes habitats connecting to and complementing the adjacent Western Australian Ngari Capes Marine Park.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of the South-west Shelf Province—an area of diverse marine life, influenced by the warm waters of the Leeuwin Current.

The bioregion includes globally important biodiversity hotspots, such as the waters off Geographe Bay.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Commonwealth marine environment within and adjacent to Geographe Bay—the sheltered waters of Geographe Bay support extensive seagrass beds that in turn provide important nursery habitat for a range of marine species
  • Western rock lobster—plays an important trophic role in many of the inshore ecosystems of the South-west Marine Region. Western rock lobsters are an important part of the food web on the inner shelf, particularly as juveniles.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act. Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include foraging habitat for seabirds, a migratory pathway for humpback and pygmy blue whales, and a calving buffer area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing. Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Noongar people have responsibility for sea country in the Marine Park.

Traditional owners have maintained cultural responsibilities for sea country as passed down from elders, to keep the oceans healthy, to support spiritual wellbeing and to uphold and protect obligatory cultural responsibilities for future generations.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council is the Native Title Service Provider for the South-west region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Historic shipwrecks

The Marine Park contains eight known shipwrecks listed under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing and recreation, including fishing, are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

Perth Canyon Marine Park

The Perth Canyon Marine Park is located approximately 52 km west of Perth and
approximately 19 km west of Rottnest Island.

The Marine Park covers an area of 7409 km² and water depths range between 120 m and 5000 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Perth Canyon Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category IV and includes three zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Habitat Protection Zone (IV)
  • Multiple Use Zone (VI).

Coordinates for the Perth Canyon Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Perth Canyon Marine Park is significant because it includes habitats, species and ecological communities associated with four bioregions:

  • Central Western Province
  • South-west Shelf Province
  • Southwest Transition
  • South-west Shelf Transition.

It includes four key ecological features:

  • Perth Canyon and adjacent shelf break, and other west-coast canyons (valued for high biological productivity and aggregations of marine life, and unique seafloor features with ecological properties of regional significance)
  • demersal slope and associated fish communities of the Central Western Province (valued as a species group that are nationally or regionally important to biodiversity)
  • western rock lobster (valued as a species that plays a regionally important ecological role)
  • mesoscale eddies (valued for high productivity and aggregations of marine life).

The Marine Park includes the majority of the Perth Canyon, Australia’s largest submarine canyon, which is home to the largest feeding aggregations of blue whales in Australia.

This unique feature is also of particular significance because it cuts into the continental shelf at approximately 150 m depth west of Rottnest Island, linking the shelf with deeper ecosystems at depths of up to 5000 m.

The Marine Park represents the southern end of the transition area from tropical to temperate marine environments.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of:

  • Central Western Province—characterised by a narrow continental slope incised by many submarine canyons, including Perth Canyon, and the most extensive area of continental rise in any of Australia’s marine regions. A significant feature within the area are several eddies that form off the Leeuwin Current at predictable locations, including the Perth Canyon
  • South-west Shelf Province—marine life in this area is diverse and influenced by the warm waters of the Leeuwin Current
  • South-west Transition—significant features of this area include the submarine canyons that incise the northern parts of the slope and the deep-water mixing that results from the dynamics of major ocean currents when these meet the seafloor, particularly in the Perth Canyon
  • South-west Shelf Transition—consists of a narrow continental shelf that is noted for its physical complexity. The Leeuwin Current has a significant influence on the biodiversity of this nearshore area as it pushes subtropical water southward along the area’s western edge. The area contains a diversity of tropical and temperate marine life including a large number of endemic fauna species.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Perth Canyon and adjacent shelf break, and other west-coast canyons—unique seafloor features give rise to ecologically important events of localised productivity and aggregations of marine life. The Perth Canyon is prominent among these canyons because of its large size and ecological importance. The upwelling of deep ocean currents in the canyon creates a nutrient-rich cold-water habitat that attracts feeding aggregations of deep-diving mammals, such as pygmy blue whales and large predatory fish that feed on aggregations of small fish, krill and squid
  • Demersal slope and associated fish communities of the Central Western Province—an area that provides important habitat for demersal fish communities and is characterised by high species diversity and endemism
  • Western rock lobster—plays an important trophic role in many of the inshore ecosystems of the South-west Marine Region. Western rock lobsters are an important part of the food web on the inner shelf, particularly as juveniles
  • Mesoscale eddies—important transporters of nutrients and plankton communities that form at predictable locations off the western and south-western shelf break.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include foraging habitat for seabirds, Antarctic blue, pygmy blue and sperm whales, a migratory pathway for humpback, Antarctic blue and pygmy blue whales, and a calving buffer area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Swan River traditional owners have responsibilities for sea country in the Marine Park.

Traditional owners have maintained cultural responsibilities for sea country as passed down from elders, to keep the oceans healthy, to support spiritual wellbeing and to uphold and protect obligatory cultural responsibilities for future generations.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council is the Native Title Service Provider for the South-west region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial shipping, commercial fishing, recreation, including fishing, and defence training are important activities in the Marine Park. These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

Two Rocks Marine Park

The Two Rocks Marine Park is located approximately 25 km north-west of Perth, to the north-west of the Western Australian Marmion Marine Park.

The Marine Park covers an area of 882 km², extending from the Western Australian state water boundary, and a water depth range from 15 m to 120 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Two Rocks Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category VI and includes two zones assigned under this plan: National Park Zone (II) and Multiple Use Zone (VI).

Coordinates for the Two Rocks Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Two Rocks Marine Park is significant because it includes habitats, species and ecological communities associated with the South-west Shelf Transition.

It includes three key ecological features:

  • the Commonwealth marine environment within and adjacent to the west-coast inshore lagoons (valued for high productivity and aggregations of marine life, and high levels of biodiversity and endemism)
  • western rock lobster (valued as a species that plays a regionally important ecological role)
  • ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth (valued for relatively high productivity, aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism).

The Marine Park is shallow and provides connectivity between offshore waters and the west coast inshore lagoons, which are key areas for the recruitment of rock lobster and other commercially and recreationally important fish species.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of the South-west Shelf Transition—an area of narrow continental shelf that is noted for its physical complexity.

The Leeuwin Current has a significant influence on the biodiversity of this nearshore area as it pushes subtropical water southward along the area’s western edge.

The area contains a diversity of tropical and temperate marine life including a large number of endemic fauna species.

The inshore lagoons are thought to be important areas for benthic productivity and recruitment for a range of marine species.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Commonwealth marine environment within and adjacent to the west-coast inshore lagoons—an area that is regionally important for enhanced benthic productivity, including macroalgae and seagrass communities, and breeding and nursery aggregations for many temperate and tropical marine species
  • Western rock lobster—plays an important trophic role in many of the inshore ecosystems of the South-west Marine Region. Western rock lobsters are an important part of the food web on the inner shelf, particularly as juveniles
  • Ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth—high benthic biodiversity and productivity occur where the ancient coastline forms a prominent escarpment.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include foraging habitat for seabirds and Australian sea lions, a migratory pathway for humpback and pygmy blue whales, and a calving buffer area for southern right whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Swan River traditional owners have responsibilities for sea country in the Marine Park.

Traditional owners have maintained cultural responsibilities for sea country as passed down from elders, to keep the oceans healthy, to support spiritual wellbeing and to uphold and protect obligatory cultural responsibilities for future generations.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council is the Native Title Service Provider for the South-west region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing, recreation, including fishing, and scientific research are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

Jurien Marine Park

The Jurien Marine Park is located approximately 148 km north of Perth and 155 km south of Geraldton, adjacent to the Western Australian Jurien Bay Marine Park.

The Marine Park covers an area of 1851 km² of continental shelf, extending from the Western Australian state water boundary, and a water depth range between 15 m and 220 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Jurien Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category VI and includes two zones assigned under this plan: National Park Zone (II) and Special Purpose Zone (VI).

Coordinates for the Jurien Marine Park and zones are provided in Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Jurien Marine Park is significant because it includes habitats, species and ecological communities associated with two bioregions:

  • South-west Shelf Transition
  • Central Western Province.

It includes three key ecological features:

  • ancient coastline between 90 and 120 m depth (valued for relatively high productivity, aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism)
  • demersal slope and associated fish communities of the Central Western Province (valued as a species group that are nationally or regionally important to biodiversity)
  • western rock lobster (valued as a species that plays a regionally important ecological role).

The Marine Park contains a mixture of tropical species carried south by the Leeuwin Current, and temperate species carried north by the Capes Current.

The Marine Park’s shelf habitats are defined by distinct ridges of limestone reef with extensive beds of macroalgae.

Inshore lagoons are inhabited by a diverse range of invertebrates and fish.

Seagrass meadows occur in more sheltered areas as well as in the inter-reef lagoons along exposed sections of the coast.

The Marine Park includes habitats connecting to and complementing the adjacent Western Australian Jurien Bay Marine Park.

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of:

  • South-west Shelf Transition—consists of a narrow continental shelf that is noted for its physical complexity. The Leeuwin Current has a significant influence on the biodiversity of this nearshore area as it pushes subtropical water southward along the bioregion’s western edge. The area contains a diversity of tropical and temperate marine life including a large number of endemic fauna species
  • Central Western Province—the Marine Park includes a small component of this bioregion, characterised by a narrow continental slope and influenced by the Leeuwin Current.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth—high benthic biodiversity and productivity occur where the ancient coastline forms a prominent escarpment
  • Demersal slope and associated fish communities of the Central Western Province—an area that provides important habitat for demersal fish communities and is characterised by high species diversity and endemism
  • Western rock lobster—plays an important trophic role in many of the inshore ecosystems of the South-west Marine Region. Western rock lobsters are an important part of the food web on the inner shelf, particularly as juveniles.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include foraging habitat for seabirds, Australian sea lions and white sharks, and a migratory pathway for humpback and pygmy blue whales.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Noongar people have responsibilities for sea country in the Marine Park. Traditional owners have strong stories that connect ocean and land.

Artefacts from ancestors are abundant on islands in the adjacent state marine park.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council is the Native Title Service Provider for the South-west region.

Heritage values

No international, Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at commencement of this plan.

Historic shipwrecks

The Marine Park contains two known shipwrecks listed under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976:

  • SS Cambewarra (wrecked in 1914)
  • Oleander (wrecked in 1884).

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing, mining and recreation, including fishing, are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.

Abrolhos Marine Park

The Abrolhos Marine Park is located adjacent to the Western Australian Houtman Abrolhos Islands, covering a large offshore area extending from the Western Australian state water boundary to the edge of Australia’s exclusive economic zone.

It is located approximately 27 km south-west of Geraldton and extends north to approximately 330 km west of Carnarvon.

The northernmost part of the shelf component of the Marine Park, north of Kalbarri, is adjacent to the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.

The Marine Park covers an area of 88,060 km² and a water depth range between less than 15 m and 6000 m.

The Marine Park was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 and renamed Abrolhos Marine Park on 9 October 2017.

The Marine Park is assigned IUCN category VI and includes four zones assigned under this plan:

  • National Park Zone (II)
  • Habitat Protection Zone (IV)
  • Multiple Use Zone (VI)
  • Special Purpose Zone (VI).

Coordinates for the Abrolhos Marine Park and zones are provided in Figure S2.14 and Schedule 4.

Statement of significance

The Abrolhos Marine Park is significant because it contains habitats, species and ecological communities associated with four bioregions:

  • Central Western Province
  • Central Western Shelf Province
  • Central Western Transition
  • South-west Shelf Transition.

It includes seven key ecological features:

  • the Commonwealth marine environment surrounding the Houtman Abrolhos Islands (valued for high levels of biodiversity and endemism)
  • demersal slope and associated fish communities of the Central Western Province (valued as a species group that are nationally or regionally important to biodiversity)
  • mesoscale eddies (valued for high productivity and aggregations of marine life)
  • Perth Canyon and adjacent shelf break, and other west-coast canyons (valued for high biological productivity and aggregations of marine life, and unique seafloor features with ecological properties of regional significance)
  • western rock lobster (valued as a species that plays a regionally important ecological role)
  • ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth (valued for relatively high productivity, aggregations of marine life and high levels of biodiversity and endemism)
  • Wallaby Saddle (valued for high productivity and aggregations of marine life).

The southern shelf component of the Marine Park partially surrounds the Western Australian Houtman Abrolhos Islands Nature Reserve.

The islands and surrounding reefs are renowned for their high level of biodiversity, due to the southward movement of species by the Leeuwin Current.

The Marine Park contains a number of seafloor features including the Houtman Canyon, the second largest submarine canyon on the west coast (the Perth Canyon being the largest).

Natural values

The Marine Park includes examples of ecosystems representative of:

  • Central Western Province—characterised by a narrow continental slope incised by many submarine canyons and the most extensive area of continental rise in any of Australia’s marine regions. A significant feature within the area are several eddies that form off the Leeuwin Current at predictable locations, including west of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands
  • Central Western Shelf Province—a predominantly flat, sandy and low nutrient area, in water depths between 50 and 100 m. Significant seafloor features of this area include a deep hole and associated area of banks and shoals offshore of Kalbarri. The area is a transitional zone between tropical and temperate species
  • Central Western Transition—a deep ocean area characterised by large areas of continental slope, a range of significant seafloor features including the Wallaby Saddle, seasonal and sporadic upwelling, and benthic slope communities comprising tropical and temperate species
  • South-west Shelf Transition—a narrow continental shelf that is noted for its physical complexity. The Leeuwin Current has a significant influence on the biodiversity of this nearshore area as it pushes subtropical water southward along the area’s western edge. The area contains a diversity of tropical and temperate marine life including a large number of endemic fauna species.

Key ecological features of the Marine Park are:

  • Commonwealth marine environment surrounding the Houtman Abrolhos Islands—the islands are among Australia’s most important seabird breeding sites, with extensive foraging grounds in Commonwealth waters. The islands and surrounding reefs support a unique mix of temperate and tropical species, resulting from the southward movement of species by the Leeuwin Current
  • Demersal slope and associated fish communities of the Central Western Province—an area that provides important habitat for demersal fish communities and is characterised by high species diversity and endemism
  • Mesoscale eddies—important transporters of nutrients and plankton communities that form at predictable locations off the western and south-western shelf break
  • Perth Canyon and adjacent shelf break, and other west-coast canyons—unique seafloor features give rise to ecologically important events of localised productivity and aggregations of marine life
  • Western rock lobster—plays an important trophic role in many of the inshore ecosystems of the South-west Marine Region. Western rock lobsters are an important part of the food web on the inner shelf, particularly as juveniles
  • Ancient coastline between 90 m and 120 m depth—high benthic biodiversity and productivity occur where the ancient coastline forms a prominent escarpment
  • Wallaby Saddle—a unique seafloor feature that is associated with enhanced biological productivity in an area of generally low productivity. The saddle is the site of upwellings of deeper, more nutrient-rich waters and aggregations of marine species including large predators such as sperm whales.

The Marine Park supports a range of species including species listed as threatened, migratory, marine or cetacean under the EPBC Act.

Biologically important areas within the Marine Park include foraging and breeding habitat for seabirds, foraging habitat for Australian sea lions and white sharks, and a migratory pathway for humpback and pygmy blue whales.

The Marine Park is adjacent to the northernmost Australian sea lion breeding colony in Australia on the Houtman Abrolhos Islands.

Cultural values

Sea country is valued for Indigenous cultural identity, health and wellbeing.

Across Australia, Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country for tens of thousands of years.

The Nanda and Naaguja People have responsibilities for sea country in the Marine Park.

Traditional owners have strong stories that connect ocean and land. Artefacts from ancestors are abundant on islands in the adjacent state marine park.

The Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation is the Native Title Representative Body for the Yamatji region.

Heritage values

No international heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at the commencement of this plan, however, the Marine Park is adjacent to the Western Australian Shark Bay World Heritage Property, listed as an area of outstanding universal value under the World Heritage Convention in 1991, meeting world heritage listing criteria vii, viii, ix, and x.

No Commonwealth or national heritage listings apply to the Marine Park at the commencement of this plan; however the Marine Park is adjacent to the Western Australian Shark Bay National Heritage Place.

Historic shipwrecks

The Marine Park contains 11 known shipwrecks listed under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976.

The Zuytdorp (wrecked in 1712) historic shipwreck protected zone lies in state waters adjacent to the northernmost part of the shelf component of the Marine Park, north of Kalbarri.

The HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran Shipwreck Sites (1941) lie at 2500 m depth about 75 km east of the northern part of the Marine Park.

This site is on the National Heritage List and a historic shipwreck protected zone.

The Batavia (wrecked on the adjacent Abrolhos Islands in 1629) Shipwreck Site and Survivor Camps Area are on the National Heritage List.

Social and economic values

Tourism, commercial fishing, mining, recreation including fishing, are important activities in the Marine Park.

These activities contribute to the wellbeing of regional communities and the prosperity of the nation.