Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve

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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 Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Area 71 744 km2
Depth range 5-500 m (approx.)
Types of zoning
  • Multiple Use Zone - IUCN Category VI-71 744 km2

Major conservation values

  • Important resting area for turtles between egg laying (internesting area), for the threatened flatback turtle and olive ridley turtle
  • Important foraging area for the threatened loggerhead turtle and olive ridley turtle
  • Examples of the ecosystems of two provincial bioregions: the Northwest Shelf Transition Province (which includes the Bonaparte, Oceanic Shoals, and Tiwi meso-scale bioregions) and the Timor Transition Province
  • Four key ecological features are represented in the reserve:
    • carbonate bank and terrace system of the Van Diemen Rise (unique sea-floor feature)
    • carbonate banks of the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf (enhanced productivity, high biodiversity, unique sea-floor feature)
    • pinnacles of the Bonaparte Basin (enhanced productivity, unique sea-floor feature)
    • shelf break and slope of the Arafura Shelf (unique sea-floor feature)