Ningaloo Commonwealth Marine Reserve

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North-west map



Transitional arrangements

Until a new management plan comes into effect there will be no changes to management arrangements for the renamed Ningaloo Commonwealth Marine Reserve.

  • Transitional arrangements involve NO CHANGE ON THE WATER for marine users.
  • If you hold an existing approval to undertake activities within the renamed Ningaloo Commonwealth Marine Reserve, you are able to continue to operate under the terms of your existing approval.
  • No additional administrative requirements apply.

Ningaloo Commonwealth Marine Reserve (previously named Ningaloo Marine Park (Commonwealth Waters)) forms part of the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network. Transitional management arrangements apply until the management plan for the North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network comes into effect.

The Ningaloo Commonwealth Marine Reserve stretches approximately 300 km along the west coast of the Cape Range Peninsula near Exmouth, Western Australia approximately 1200 km north of Perth. Ningaloo Reef, the longest fringing barrier reef in Australia, and the only example in the world of extensive fringing coral reef on the west coast of a continent, is included in the adjacent Western Australian Ningaloo Marine Park (State Waters), which lies between the Ningaloo Commonwealth Marine Reserve and the Western Australian coast.

Original Proclamation Date 20 May 1987, now renamed Ningaloo Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Area 2435 km2
Depth range 15-150m (approx.)
Types of zoning IUCN Category II - Recreational Use Zone

Major conservation values

  • Foraging areas for vulnerable and migratory whale sharks
  • Foraging areas and adjacent to important nesting sites for marine turtles
  • Includes part of the migratory pathway of the protected humpback whale
  • The reserve includes shallow shelf environments and provides protection for shelf and slope habitats, as well as pinnacle and terrace seafloor features
  • Examples of the seafloor habitats and communities of the Central Western Shelf Transition.