Australian Marine Parks

Sunday 20 March 2022

Today, 20 March 2022, the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley announced that the declaration of marine parks in Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories by the Governor-General.

The new Christmas Island Marine Park and Cocos (Keeling) Islands Marine Park protect 744,000 square kilometres of unique marine environment around these remote islands. The marine parks were co-designed with the local communities of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands to ensure that they also support important local marine activities, such as recreational and subsistence fishing, boating, diving, snorkelling and marine tourism.

The Australian Government has allocated an initial $5.4 million for management of IOT marine parks. This includes $2.2 million for a grants program to support projects that:

  • Enhance the protection, promotion and understanding of the marine environment and marine parks.

  • Support local engagement, employment and economic opportunities associated with the new marine parks.

The Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands Marine Parks are the newest addition to Australia’s extensive network of 60 Australian Marine Parks managed by Parks Australia. Together with other Commonwealth and state and Territory managed parks, Australia’s marine park network now spans more than 4 million square kilometres, covering 45 per cent of Australia’s waters.

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