Tasman Fracture Commonwealth Marine Reserve

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Overview

Overview of Tasman Fracture Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Area 42 501 km2 (4 250 100 ha)
Types of zoning Marine National Park Zone - IUCN Category II (692 km2)
Special Purpose Zone - IUCN Category VI (21 313 km2)
Multiple Use Zone - IUCN Category VI (20 496 km2)

Major conservation values

Seamount with urchins and corals - CSIRO

Seamount with urchins and corals, CSIRO

  • Examples of ecosystems, habitats and communities associated with the Tasmania Province, the Tasmanian Shelf Province and the West Tasmania Transition and associated with the sea-floor features: abyssal plain/deep ocean floor, basin, canyon, knoll/abyssal hill, pinnacle, plateau, ridge, saddle, shelf, slope, terrace and trench/trough
  • Important migration area for: humpback whale
  • Important foraging areas for: white shark, New Zealand fur seal, wandering, black-browed and shy albatross, white-chinned petrel, common diving petrel, short-tailed shearwater and fairy prion

General description

The Tasman Fracture Commonwealth Reserve complements the Port Davey Marine Reserve (encompassing Port Davey, Bathurst Channel and Bathurst Harbour), which was proclaimed by the Tasmanian Government in 2005. It spans the continental shelf, continental slope and deeper water ecosystems south of Tasmania, and is scored by steep canyons. It also encloses other geological features, including steep escarpments and troughs, saddles, basins, and part of a plateau that is over 400 km long and rises up to 3 km above the sea floor.

The reserve includes a number of undersea peaks rising to less than 1500 m below the sea surface that provide habitat to deepwater hard corals. These corals provide a structure and habitat for a rich diversity of marine invertebrate animals that live attached corals.

Waters of the reserve are home to many species of seabirds, seals and cetaceans, such as dolphins and killer whales. Partly surrounded by the reserve is Mewstone Island, a Tasmanian nature reserve, which has the largest breeding population of the shy albatross.

Due to its southerly location, extending south of the subtropical convergence zone and into the subantarctic front, the fauna of this reserve includes subantarctic fishes and seabed invertebrates on the continental shelf and slope. Biodiversity in this reserve is influenced by the most easterly extent of flow of the Zeehan Current.

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 Tasman Fracture Commonwealth Marine Reserve - Click to enlarge map

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