Australian Marine Parks

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.

The proposed marine parks have been co-designed with Indian Ocean Territory communities, who are the main users of these waters.

Parks Australia is moving towards the final stages in a process that will protect an internationally significant part of Australia’s marine environment and contribute to the wider health of our oceans.

The waters around Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands contain a range of unique, isolated and largely undisturbed natural features located in a wide range of water depths, from shallow coastal waters to offshore waters over 6000 metres deep.

The proposed marine parks are located where Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean currents overlap. Coral reef species from both oceans can be found together, resulting in the evolution of unique hybrid varieties of marine fauna found nowhere else in the world.

Together the two new marine parks will cover an area more than twice the size of the Great Barrier Reef and will strengthen our national network of Marine Protected Areas, already one of the largest in the world.

We are now calling for you to have your say on the proposed marine parks. We’ll be accepting public comments until 6 December 2021.

For information about how to make a submission visit