Macquarie Island sanctuary grows

June 5, 2023 5:51 pm in by


The federal government will triple the size of Macquarie Island Marine Park with the environment minister signing off on a final design for the expansion.

Tanya Plibersek announced on Monday the park, which currently covers 162,000 square kilometres halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica, will grow to cover 475,465sq km.

She said the park’s expansion is about protecting the oceans for future generations.

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“This announcement is part of our mission to conserve Australia’s special places, particularly those that are home to threatened species.

“Macquarie Island is an exceptional place – it’s a remote wildlife wonderland, a critical breeding ground for millions of seabirds, seals and penguins,” she said.

Current residents include rockhopper penguins, the subantarctic fur seal, with large southern elephant seal populations also calling the area home.

The park’s increase in size by 385,000sq km will mean marine parks now make up over 48 per cent of Australian oceans.

Ms Plibersek said Australians understand the health of the nation is tied to the natural world.

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“I am determined to protect more of what’s precious, to repair more of what’s damaged, and to manage nature better for the future,” she said.

An area larger than Germany that covers 93 per cent of the park will be completely closed to fishing, mining and other extractive activities.

Macquarie Island was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997, with the marine park extending about 1500km southeast of Tasmania and deep into the Southern Ocean.