Marine park

A marine park is a park consisting of an area of sea (or lake) sometimes protected for recreational use, but more often set aside to preserve a specific habitat and ensure the ecosystem is sustained for the organisms that exist there. Most marine parks are designated by governments, and organized like 'watery' national parks.

The largest marine park used to be the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia, at 350,000 km² until 2010, when the United Kingdom announced the opening of the Chagos Marine Park or Chagos Archipelago.

Although for many uses it is sufficient to designate the boundaries of the marine park and to inform commercial fishing boats and other maritime enterprises, some parks have gone to additional effort to make their wonders accessible to visitors. These can range from glass-bottomed boats and small submarines, to windowed undersea tubes.

In New Zealand a marine reserve is an area which has a higher degree of legal protection than marine parks for conservation purposes.

In New South Wales, there are planned marine parks which will stretch along the coastline of the entire state.

List of marine parks





United States


Hong Kong










High seas

As of April 2008 there are no high seas marine reserves, but Greenpeace is campaigning for the "doughnut holes" of the western pacific to be declared as marine reserves.[2] They are also campaigning for 40 percent of the world’s oceans to be protected as marine reserves.[3]



Commonwealth of Australia

The Australian Government manages an estate of marine protected areas (MPA) that are Commonwealth reserves under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

New South Wales
South Australia

As of December 2013, the following marine parks have been declared under the Marine Parks Act 2007 (SA) :[4]

  • Eastern Spencer Gulf Marine Park
  • Encounter Marine Park
  • Far West Coast Marine Park
  • Franklin Harbor Marine Park
  • Gambier Islands Group Marine Park
  • Investigator Marine Park
  • Lower South East Marine Park
  • Lower Yorke Peninsula Marine Park
  • Neptune Islands Group Marine Park
  • Nuyts Archipelago Marine Park
  • Sir Joseph Banks Group Marine Park
  • Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park
  • Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park
  • Thorny Passage Marine Park
  • Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park
  • Upper South East Marine Park
  • Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park
  • West Coast Bays Marine Park
  • Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park

The state of Victoria has protected approximately 5.3% of coastal waters. In June 2002, legislation was passed to establish 13 Marine National Parks and 11 Marine Sanctuaries. Victoria is the first jurisdiction in the world to create an entire system of highly protected Marine National Parks at the same time.[5] Additional areas are listed as Marine Parks or Marine Reserves, which provides a lower level of protection and allows activities such as commercial and recreational fishing.

The marine national parks are:

Western Australia


  • Enipein Pah, near Pohnpei

New Zealand

Papua New Guinea

  • Papua Barrier Reef


See also


  1. Jones, Nicola (2011). "Little Mexican reserve boasts big recovery". Nature. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
  2. "The Pacific Commons -- first high seas marine reserve?". Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-27. The Western and Central Pacific Ocean is the world's largest tuna fishery. Over half of the tuna consumed worldwide is taken from this area. Rampant overfishing is destroying this fishery; relatively healthy just a few years ago. Today, two key Pacific species, Bigeye and Yellowfin could face collapse unless urgent action is taken.
  3. "Marine reserves". Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-27. A growing body of scientific evidence that demonstrates what we at Greenpeace have been saying for a long time: that the establishment of large-scale networks of marine reserves, urgently needed to protect marine species and their habitats, could be key to reversing global fisheries decline.
  4. "MARINE PARKS ACT 2007: SECTION 14" (PDF). The South Australian Government Gazette. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  5. Victoria’s System of Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries. Management Strategy 20032010 (PDF), Parks Victoria, 2003, retrieved 2012-02-04
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