Ashmore Reef Marine Park

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Ashmore Reef Marine Park
Map showing the Ashmore Reef Marine Park. The shaded area is a Sanctuary Zone ('no take' zone).[1]
Location Australia
Coordinates 12°14′55″S 123°04′35″E / 12.2486°S 123.0763°E / -12.2486; 123.0763[2]
Area 583 km2 (225 sq mi)
Established 16 August 1983
Operator Parks Australia
Official name Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Designated 21 October 2002
Reference no. 1220[3]

The Ashmore Reef Marine Park (formerly known as the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve) is an Australian marine park that covers the Ashmore Reef, which is located about 630 km (390 mi) north of Broome and 110 km (68 mi) south of the Indonesian island of Rote. The marine park covers an area of 583 km2 (225 sq mi) and is assigned IUCN category Ia. It is one of 13 parks managed under the North-west Marine Parks Network.[4]

The Ashmore Reef Marine Park is within an area known as the MOU Box, a region that permits for continued Indonesian traditional fishing and access.[5]

Conservation values[edit]

The Ashmore Reef is of significant biodiversity value as it is in the flow of the Indonesian Throughflow ocean current from the Pacific Ocean through Maritime Southeast Asia to the Indian Ocean. It is also in a surface current west from the Arafura Sea and Timor Sea.[citation needed]

In 2003 the nature reserve was recognised as a wetland of international importance due to the importance of its islands providing a resting place for migratory shorebirds and supporting large seabird breeding colonies.[6] It was designated Ramsar Site 1220 under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.[7]

Species and habitat[edit]

Bioregion, ecology and heritage[edit]

  • Ecosystems, habitats and communities associated with the North West Shelf and Timor Province provincial bioregions, and emergent oceanic reefs.
  • Indonesian artefacts.
  • Indonesian grave sites.[6]


The Marine Park was originally proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 on 16 August 1983 as the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve. It was proclaimed under the EPBC Act on 14 December 2013 as a Commonwealth Marine Reserve and renamed Ashmore Reef Marine Park on 9 October 2017.[4]

Summary of protection zones[edit]

The Ashmore Reef Marine Park has been assigned IUCN protected area category Ia. However, within the marine park there are two protection zones, each zone has an IUCN category and related rules for managing activities to ensure the protection of marine habitats and species.[4]

The following table is a summary of the zoning rules within the Ashmore Reef Marine Park:[4]

Zone IUCN Activities permitted Total area
Vessel transiting Recreational fishing Commercial fishing Commercial aquaculture Commercial tourism Mining
Sanctuary Zone Ia No No No No aviation only, with approval No 550
Recreational Use II Yes Yes No No excludes fishing, with approval No 34
External link: Zoning and rules for the North-west Marine Parks Network

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Map data: Sanctuary IUCN Ia and National Park IUCN II zones ('no take' zones) from Australian Marine Parks, (2018) Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy. CC BY 4.0.
  2. ^ "Relation: Ashmore Reef Marine Park (8426818)". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  3. ^ "Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "North-west Marine Parks Network Management Plan 2018" (PDF). Parks Australia. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island Commonwealth Marine Reserves: Information for visitors" (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "Ashmore Commonwealth Marine Reserve". © Commonwealth of Australia (CC BY 3.0 AU). Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "The Annotated Ramsar List: Australia". The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 4 January 2000. Retrieved 10 April 2010.

External links[edit]