North Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network - Management

Consistent with the commitment for a more competitive and sustainable fisheries sector, the Australian Government will review the management plans for the Commonwealth marine reserves announced in November 2012.

The Government will be appointing a scientific review panel and bioregional advisory panels to provide advice on future marine reserve management arrangements.

Transitional management arrangements

Transitional management arrangements have been implemented for the North marine reserves to cover the period until a statutory management plan comes into effect. There will be no changes in on water activities for any users during this period.

Under the EPBC Act, any activity in a marine reserve requires approval from the Director of National Parks in the period between proclamation of the reserves and the implementation of a management plan. This applies to existing commercial activities, including those that involve the taking of native species (fishing). This approval from the Director of National Parks is issued under section 359B of the EPBC Act. Approval can be given to both individuals and to classes of persons, and can be issued with or without conditions on the approved activity.

Approvals for activities within new areas


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.

General approval - transitional management arrangements

The Director of National Parks has issued a general approval to implement the transitional management arrangements for all new areas added to the Commonwealth marine reserve estate in the North Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network.

The general approval for the North Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network provides for the following activities to continue while a management plan is prepared:

  • Commercial fishing
  • Non-commercial fishing
  • Commercial tourism
  • Mining operations
  • Commercial vessel transit (being continuous passage of a vessel through an area by the shortest direct route without any other activity being carried on)
  • Aquaculture
  • Commercial media activities
  • Commercial image capture
  • Erecting structures, carrying out works and carrying on an excavation.

Activities must be carried out in accordance to the conditions under the general approval.

Approval of Actions (PDF - 29.37 KB)
Approval of Actions (DOCX - 203.38 KB)

For further information please contact the department.



Commonwealth Marine Reserves Branch
Parks Australia
Department of the Environment
Edgar Waite Building
203 Channel Highway
Kingston TAS 7050
Phone: 1800 069 352