Arafura Commonwealth Marine Reserve

Click on the North Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network map or select a reserve
North Network map


Transitional arrangements

Until a management plan comes into effect transitional arrangements apply.

  • Under the transitional arrangements, there are NO CHANGES ON THE WATER for users of new areas added to the Commonwealth marine reserves estate.
  • NOTE: There are no changes to management arrangements in the marine reserves that existed prior to the establishment of the new reserves, that is, the same restrictions on activities will continue to apply even where those reserves have been incorporated into new reserves.


Overview of Arafura Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Area 22 924 km2
Depth range 5-250 m (approx.)
Types of zoning
  • Multiple Use Zone - IUCN Category VI-22 924 km2

Major conservation values

  • Important resting area for turtles between egg laying (internesting area), for the threatened:
    • flatback turtle
    • green turtle
    • hawksbill turtle
    • olive ridley turtle
  • Important foraging habitat for breeding aggregations of the migratory roseate tern
  • Examples of the ecosystems of two provincial bioregions: the Northern Shelf Province (which includes the Arafura and Cobourg meso-scale bioregions) and the Timor Transition Province
  • Includes one key ecological feature:
    • Tributary canyons of the Arafura Depression (unique sea-floor feature)