Aquatic reserves have been established to protect biodiversity and provide representative samples of our wonderfully varied marine life and habitats. New South Wales currently has 12 aquatic reserves declared under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
Although aquatic reserves are generally small compared with marine parks, they play a significant role in the NSW marine protected area system. Apart from protecting important habitat, nursery areas and vulnerable and threatened species, aquatic reserves also have valuable research and educational roles.
Community involvement is critical in the management of aquatic reserves. Through public involvement in management planning processes, the government seeks to achieve community partnership in these important places, providing on going protection for the future.
What can I do in an aquatic reserve?
The type of protection varies from reserve to reserve. In some reserves, for example, fishing is permitted, as long as bait is not collected in the reserve. In other places, however, fishing is prohibited and only diving and observing the marine life is permitted.
The following list shows all aquatic reserves in NSW, sorted by region.