Cool fact…
Video footage of the seabed was taken around HIMI during the 2003/04 summer. This provided the first pictures of a diverse array of animals including commercial fish species (Patagonian toothfish and mackerel icefish), octopus, spectacular gardens of feather stars, sea anemones and soft corals.

National agreements

Snoozing fur seal pup
Snoozing Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) pup. Photo by B. Wienecke

The declaration and ongoing management of the Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Marine Reserve contributes to the implementation of several national conservation agreements, including:

Click on the links above for a summary of these agreements. See also the International Agreements page.

Australia’s Oceans Policy and National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas

Australia's Oceans Policy sets in place the framework for integrated and ecosystem-based planning and management for all of Australia's marine jurisdictions. The policy highlights the need to protect marine biodiversity, including through the development of a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (NRSMPA).

Protected areas within the NRSMPA are established especially for the conservation of biological diversity, are classified into one or more IUCN protected area categories, have secure conservation status and contribute to the representativeness, comprehensiveness or adequacy of the national system.

Other goals of the NRSMPA – of relevance to the Reserve – include:

  • promoting integrated ecosystem management;
  • providing for the formal management of a range of human activities;
  • providing scientific reference sites;
  • providing for the special needs of rare, threatened and migratory species and the conservation of special groups of organisms; and
  • protecting areas of high conservation value including those containing high species diversity, natural refugia for flora and fauna and centres of endemism.

The HIMI region was identified in Australia’s Oceans Policy as one of five priority areas for the declaration of a marine reserve. The Reserve's declaration in 2002 contributes to the protection of Australia’s unique marine biodiversity by ensuring that temperate and subantarctic waters are incorporated in the comprehensive and representative national system of marine protected areas.

More information on Australia's Ocean Policy is available from the Coasts and marine website, and more information on the NRSMPA is available from the NRSMPA pages of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts website.

Conservation plans

A number recovery plans and threat abatement plans made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 for listed threatened species, and other national actions plans, are relevant to the protection and management of species found in the Reserve. These include:

More information about conservation plans for threatened species is available from the Threatened Species pages of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts website.

Other agreements and strategies

The Reserve’s declaration and ongoing management contribute to meeting the Commonwealth Government’s objectives in relation to protected areas and networks of protected areas as stated in the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity and the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development.

More information about these agreements is available from the Australian Biodiversity and Ecologically Sustainable Development pages of the Department of the Environment website.

This page was last modified on 28 February 2005.