Australian Marine Parks

Click on the map below to navigate the Indian Ocean Territories Marine Parks.

Covering 744,000 square kilometres of remote tropical ocean, reef and lagoon habitat, Christmas Island Marine Park and Cocos (Keeling) Islands Marine Park are the two newest additions to the national network of Australian Marine Parks.

Established in March 2022, these new marine parks will help protect the unique marine environments of Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) and support positive social and economic outcomes for local communities and other marine users. These new marine park protections will build on the work of Christmas Island National Park and Pulu Keeling National Park, which have helped to protect the unique island environments of the IOT for decades.

The marine environment of the IOT is known for iconic species such as whale sharks, turtles, manta rays, spinner dolphins and a vast array of seabirds. There are also lesser known but equally fascinating species, including locally evolved hybrid fish which result from the mixing of waters from the Indian and Pacific Oceans in the IOT.

Locals and visitors can experience the magnificent marine world of the IOT under their own steam or by connecting with a local tour operator to head out scuba diving, snorkelling, kite surfing, kayaking, free diving or fishing.

For further information about the two new IOT marine parks please refer to the:

Indian Ocean Territory marine park grants program

To coincide with the establishment of the new Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) marine parks, the Australian Government has allocated $2.2 million to an IOT Marine Parks Grants Program

Grant applications closed in July 2022 and are currently being assessed. Successful projects will support protection and management of IOT marine parks, as well as support the local economy.

Projects will be undertaken predominately in the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands Marine Parks and provide opportunities to engage and benefit the local community.

Projects may include, engaging local communities to help manage the marine parks, research and monitoring pressures such as marine debris, monitoring the health of the marine environment and projects that help locals and tourists to experience and appreciate the marine parks.

Management

 

Transitional management arrangements are in place for IOT marine parks until management plans for these new marine parks are prepared.

The preparation of management plans will be informed by at least two rounds of open consultation where any interested member of the community can make a written submission.

Local advisory committees are also being established to help inform the preparation of marine park management plans. The terms of reference for these committees are available here:

If you would like to be kept up to date on developments and opportunities to input, please send us an email at iotmarineparks@environment.gov.au.

Establishing IOT marine parks

To find out about how the Indian Ocean Territories marine parks were established, visit Science and Consultation.

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