Australian Marine Parks

Tuesday 28 February 2023

Emily bay view, early morning watching local crews train in their kayaks in the calmer weather following cyclone Gabrielle. Credit Stephen Irwin

The Director of National Parks is introducing new conditions of use for visitors to Norfolk Marine Park in a bid to improve the marine health of three popular bays.  

To support the health of the reef ecosystem, no marine species can be removed from Emily or Slaughter Bay and no echinoderms can be taken from Cemetery Bay, until further notice.  

Echinoderms are marine invertebrates such as sea cucumbers, sea urchins, starfish, brittle stars, sand dollars and crinoids. 

Parks Australia moved to establish further protections in response to the pressures the bays are experiencing, with the ongoing issue of storm and groundwater pollution entering into the lagoons.  

The bays of Emily, Slaughter and Cemetery are much-loved and valued by the Norfolk Island community.  

Parks Australia is taking this action to give these marine environments some protection against pressures such as severe weather events and changing patterns. The health of Emily, Slaughter and Cemetery Bay will continue to be monitored. 

Signage will be placed at access points of the bays to notify visitors of the new conditions of use. It is an offence under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act not to comply with those conditions.  

Recreational activities such as swimming and snorkelling will not be affected.  

The Norfolk Marine Park supports diverse temperate and tropical marine life. It acts as a line of oceanic stepping stones, connecting deep water marine species from New Zealand to New Caledonia. 

Parks Australia is committed to managing the health of the Norfolk Marine Park and will continue to work with the community to support best outcomes for the local marine environment.