Australian Marine Parks

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Bluebottles to sting illegal fishers in Australian Marine Parks

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Uncrewed marine vessels known as Bluebottles are taking to the waters of Two Rocks and Jurien Marine Parks as the latest compliance measure being trialled in Australian Marine Parks.

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Headless chicken monster, a.k.a a swimming sea cucumber. Credit CSIRO

Students and deep-sea scientists spy headless chicken monsters

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Deep-sea viperfish, goosefish, blind lobsters and headless chicken monsters – these are just some of the mysterious marine creatures that students encountered in the depths of the wild, remote Indian Ocean.

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Credit Anindilyakwa Rangers

Grant round opens to stem ghost net tide

Monday 10 October 2022

Australia’s northern coastline is a hotspot for marine debris and abandoned fishing nets known as ‘ghost nets’.

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Investigating deep sea-life in the Indian Ocean Territories

Friday 7 October 2022

From around 13 to 17 October a large high tech looking ship will be visible around Cocos.

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Coral sea marine debris clean-up

Island health checks uncover Coral Sea secrets

Tuesday 26 July 2022

A Parks Australia-led voyage to monitor island health in the Coral Sea Marine Park has uncovered a surprising array of marine species and recovered 10 cubic metres of marine debris.

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Boat on the ocean

Electronic and Vessel Monitoring Systems Assistance Program projects announced

Wednesday 23 March 2022

Seven state and Northern Territory fisheries management agencies have been offered grants to boost the use of electronic and vessel monitoring systems on commercial fishing vessels transiting or operating in Australian Marine Parks.

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Australian Marine Parks

Pink Handfish Seen for First Time in 22 Years

Thursday 23 December 2021

Parks Australia is unlocking the secrets of Tasmania’s deep with a surprise sighting of the very rare and threatened Pink Handfish (Brachiopsilus dianthus).

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Boats in the marina

Inviting organisations to partner in marine discovery and restoration

Monday 20 December 2021

A new $15 million program launched by the Australian Government will drive partnerships in conservation, research and restoration in Australian Marine Parks. 

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Boigu Island net - credit AFMA

Finding solutions for ghost nets in northern Australia

Friday 10 December 2021

A needs analysis and feasibility study funded as part of the Ghost Nets Initiative is now complete.  

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A tiger shark captured on one of the Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations

Mapping Norfolk Island’s nearshore and coastal habitat

Tuesday 7 December 2021

Researchers have completed the aerial surveying component of a mapping project of Norfolk Island’s deep blue. 

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Ghost net retrieved from Norfolk Marine Park. Credit: Nic Johnson

Norfolk Marine Park managers’ update - Ghost net removed from Norfolk Marine Park

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) employees removed a discarded fishing net from near Crystal Pool off the coast of Norfolk Island earlier this month.

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Our Marine Park Grants

Our Marine Parks Grants - round three now open

Monday 25 October 2021

The third round of the Australian Government’s Our Marine Parks Grants Program is now open.

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Wessel Marine Park

Fisheries Assistance – Electronic and Vessel Monitoring Systems Assistance Program grants now open

Wednesday 13 October 2021

The Australian Government’s Electronic and Vessel Monitoring Systems Assistance Program grants round is now open.

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Dolphins diving. Photo: [Wondrous World Images](

Draft proposal for Indian Ocean Territories Marine Parks released

Tuesday 5 October 2021

The Australian Government is proposing the proclamation of two new Indian Ocean Territory Marine Parks to protect ecosystems across 744,000 square kilometres around Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

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Thamarrurr rangers prepare equipment for deployment. Left to right: Malcom Martin, Christine Tchemjiri and Margaret Melpi. Credit: AIMS

Indigenous rangers monitoring marine park health in Australia’s Top End

Tuesday 28 September 2021

The Traditional Owners and sea rangers of the Thamarrurr region of Australia’s Northern Territory are key partners in a collaborative project to monitor the health of sea country in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf Marine Park.

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Sunset in Ashmore Reef Marine Park

Scientists complete first-ever Ashmore Reef health check

Monday 20 September 2021

In a first of its kind for this remote marine park, scientists have completed one of the most comprehensive ‘health checks’ of Ashmore Reef’s ecosystems.

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Plate coral in Emily Bay exhibiting signs of white syndrome on 9 May 2021. Credit:

Norfolk Marine Park managers’ update - Reporting on Emily and Slaughter Bay Reef health

Friday 10 September 2021

Since early 2020, Parks Australia has worked with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) to monitor reef health in Emily and Slaughter Bay. SIMS’ first survey, in March 2020, was timed to provide a baseline of coral health before a predicted marine heatwave and coral bleaching event.

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The Vessel Offshore Solution mapping habitat in the Norfolk Marine Park.

Norfolk Island seafloor mapping reveals deep reefs and diverse habitat

Monday 16 August 2021

Scientists have captured unprecedented detail and imagery of the underwater landscape beneath the waves off Norfolk Island through the Norfolk Island Nearshore and Coastal Habitat Mapping project, which is funded through Parks Australia and the Australian Government’s, Our Marine Parks Grants Program.

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The RV Offshore Solution will be mapping habitat in the Norfolk Marine Park in July. Photo: Guardian Offshore AU

Norfolk Marine Park habitat mapping projects

Monday 19 July 2021

Parks Australia is funding two exciting Our Marine Parks Grants programs for habitat mapping in Norfolk Marine Park. Together, these eagerly anticipated projects will, for the first time, give us a detailed and current understanding of the underwater ecosystems surrounding Norfolk Island.

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RV Investigator. Credit: CSIRO

Historic voyage of marine discovery sets sail to explore the Indian Ocean Territories

Wednesday 7 July 2021

An historic 45-day voyage to discover new species and map marine ecosystems across Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories set sail from Darwin on Wednesday 30 June. CSIRO research vessel, the RV Investigator, of which Parks Australia is a key partner will lead a team of scientists to map unexplored underwater regions to extend our knowledge of marine ecosystems.

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Anemones. Photo: Justin Gilligan

Australia to expand Marine Parks

Wednesday 12 May 2021

The Australian Government has announced plans to establish Australian Marine Parks in the Indian Ocean Territories (IOTs), around Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

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AFMA staff untangling turtle from ghost net. Credit: Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Ghost Nets Initiative launch

Monday 3 May 2021

The Australian Government has launched the Ghost Nets Initiative by making a $14.8 million investment in projects to directly address the challenge of ghost nets and marine debris littering northern Australian waters and beaches.

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Ashmore Reef. Credit: Lauren Hardiman, CSIRO

$39.9 million investment in Australian Marine Parks announced

Friday 23 April 2021

The Australian Government has announced a $39.9 million investment in Australian Marine Park partnerships as part of a broader $100 million Ocean Leadership package.

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Green turtle

Exclusion zone at Middleton Reef

Monday 11 January 2021

Part of the northern-most National Park Zone of Lord Howe Marine Park, which includes Middleton Reef, has been closed following a report of a suspected unexploded ordnance (UXO).

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Green turtle

Our Marine Parks Grants round two projects announced

Friday 11 December 2020

Over twenty innovative and inspiring projects receive funding under the second round of the Our Marine Parks Grants Program.

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Auv joes reef freycinet marine park.

Looking into the past to drive the future

Friday 30 October 2020

Over the last 12 years a vast dataset of seabed marine imagery has been collected by the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS)’s autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Parks Australia is now working with researchers to unpack the secrets collected over the years and to better understand the biodiversity in Australian Marine Parks in the South-east Network.

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Deployment of fish aggregating devices

Magnetic attraction at Rottnest Trench

Friday 4 September 2020

Working collaboratively with recreational fishers in Western Australia to support marine park management.

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Ashmore Reef

The Ashmore adventures continue

Tuesday 1 September 2020

In July last year, we took you to the heart of the Timor Sea, tracking the adventures of an intrepid team of scientists that spent two weeks surveying the islands of Ashmore Reef Marine Park.

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Pink snapper and wobbegong.

Thriving marine life captured on video in South-West Corner Marine Park

Thursday 13 August 2020

Last month, researchers from the University of Western Australia (UWA) took advantage of easing COVID restrictions to head out into South-west Corner Marine Park and drop some baited underwater cameras. The team were rewarded with images of hidden cities of kelps, seagrass and sponge gardens, teeming with iconic local species such as dhufish and pink snapper.

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Tough penalty for illegal fishing in Australian Marine Parks

Friday 27 March 2020

The Federal Court has fined the company and skipper of a vessel caught fishing illegally within the National Park Zone at Flinders Marine Park.

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Parks australia officers sorting debris on cato island.

Keeping our marine parks ‘debris-free’

Tuesday 3 March 2020

Recently, Parks Australia staff travelled out to the Coral Sea Marine Park on a joint research voyage with scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University.

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Black cod, credit dave harasti.

Deep exploration of Bremer and Perth Canyon Marine Parks

Monday 24 February 2020

The Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel Falkor has been deployed to the Bremer and Perth Canyon Marine Parks to explore some of the deepest areas of these parks for the very first time.

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Mapping study gives first glimpse of deep reefs beneath Bass Strait

Friday 21 February 2020

Scientists have captured imagery of a newly discovered underwater landscape beneath the waves in Bass Strait, revealing a complex seabed of deep reefs that have been sustaining life for fish and other fauna for millennia.

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Green turtle

Our Marine Parks Grants now open

Thursday 23 January 2020

The second round of Our Marine Parks Grants is now open to applications from organisations and community groups.

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Ashmore reef coral sea 02 peter sayre.

Managing Sea Country in Australia’s Coral Sea Marine Park

Thursday 19 December 2019

Watch Meriam Traditional Owners from Mer Island share stories about their connections with the reefs in the Coral Sea Marine Park and the importance of sea country to the community.

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Wgac parks sign collaboration deed.

New collaboration strengthens management of sea country in the Kimberley Marine Park

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Parks Australia and the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation have taken an important step towards strengthening management of sea country in the Kimberley region with the signing of a partnership agreement.

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Shutterstock 95447302 big game fishing reels.

Protect your marine parks – Report illegal activity

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Suspicious or illegal activity in Australian Marine Parks can now be reported through a new hotline number – 1800 852 975.

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Worimi Sea Country (Garuwa) Artworks

Tuesday 13 August 2019

We’ve recently collaborated with the Worimi People, artist Melissa Lilley and New South Wales Department of Primary Industries to celebrate important cultural connections with sea country near Port Stephens, including Hunter Marine Park.

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Bruv fish at ningaloo marine park.

Say cheese …. we’re off to film fish communities at Ningaloo Marine Park

Tuesday 13 August 2019

A research team from CSIRO and The University of Western Australia are heading off to Ningaloo Marine Park today to take a peek at deep-water fish communities and continental shelf habitats.

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New partnerships to strengthen management for Australia’s offshore marine environment

Monday 24 June 2019

Around the country, six new regional Australian Marine Park advisory committees recently came together for the first time. These committees will play an important role in supporting the management of Australian Marine Parks, a network of 58 marine parks that help protect Australia’s offshore marine environment.

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Commercial fishing netting

Fisheries assistance – Our Marine Parks Grants awarded to strengthen Australian Marine Park management

Friday 5 April 2019

The first round of Our Marine Parks Grants have been awarded to fund eight organisations to deliver 12 projects that will improve the long-term sustainability of fishing in ways that support the objectives of Australian Marine Parks.

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Fishing boats

Fisheries assistance – Fishing Business Assistance Grants now open

Wednesday 20 March 2019

The Fishing Business Assistance Grants are now open for acceptance by eligible commercial fishers. Applications close on Tuesday 7 May 2019.

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Cod grounds marine park.

Fishers caught fishing illegally in Cod Grounds Marine Park

Friday 22 February 2019

Last weekend occupants of three local vessels were found to be illegally fishing inside the Cod Grounds Marine Park, nine kilometres off the coast of Laurieton. This marine park is one of 58 Australian Marine Parks managed by Parks Australia to protect Australia’s offshore marine environment.

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Fishing boats

Fisheries assistance – Our Marine Parks Grants now open

Thursday 14 February 2019

The first round of Our Marine Parks Grants is now open to applications from invited fishing sector organisations. Applications close on Tuesday 12 March 2019.

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Fishing boats

Fisheries Assistance and User Engagement Package

Friday 14 December 2018

The Director has released the ‘Fishing Business Assistance Grants – Consultation Report’, which details the Director’s consideration of comments received from the fishing industry on the Fishing Business Assistance program.

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Sabre squirrelfish

Largest ever reef survey of the Coral Sea Marine Park underway

Tuesday 4 December 2018

The most extensive reef survey of the Coral Sea Marine Park ever undertaken will continue this week as scientists from ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE) and Parks Australia staff set sail from Gladstone, Queensland.

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Sharing marine park science through partnerships

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Parks Australia and the Australian Institute of Marine Science have launched the Australian Marine Parks Science Atlas, an online portal showcasing the remarkable scientific discoveries being made in our marine parks.

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Diving into Australia's largest marine park

Friday 8 June 2018

Parks Australia managers and James Cook University researchers recently returned from a voyage to the Coral Sea Marine Park to gain a better understanding of the coral reef ecosystems.

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