Franklin Commonwealth Marine Reserve

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Overview

Overview of Franklin Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Area 671 km2
Types of zoning Multiple Use Zone - IUCN Category VI

Major conservation values

  • Examples of ecosystems, habitats and communities associated with the Tasmanian Shelf Province and the Western Bass Strait Shelf Transition and associated with the sea-floor features: shelf, deep/hole/valley, escarpment and plateau
  • Important foraging area for: shy albatross, short-tailed shearwater, Australasian gannet, fairy prion, little penguin, common diving petrel, black-faced cormorant and silver gull.

General description

The Franklin Commonwealth Marine Reserve represents an area of shallow continental shelf ecosystems and incorporates areas of two major bioregions: western Bass Strait and the Tasmanian shelf. Its cool temperate waters are exposed to large swells driven by westerly gales.

At its northern end, the waters are only 40 m deep, and in much of the reserve the sea floor slopes gently and is covered by fine and coarse sediments. At the southern end of the reserve there is a valley where the water is up to 150 m deep.

The reserve provides a feeding ground for a variety of seabirds, such as the fairy prion, shy albatross, silver gull, short-tailed shearwater, black-faced cormorant and common diving petrel, that have breeding colonies on the nearby Hunter group of islands.

Black Pyramid Rock, 6 km north of the reserve supports the largest breeding colony of the Australasian gannet in Tasmania, and one of only eight breeding sites for this species in Australia.

White shark also forage in the reserve.

Management arrangements

All fourteen reserves in the South-east are managed under the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network Management Plan 2013-23. This Management Plan sets out the zoning, allowable activities and rules for use within South-east marine reserves until 2023.

Maps

 

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Map of the Franklin Commonwealth Marine Reserve - Click to enlarge map

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