A draft management plan for the Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Marine Reserve is now open for public comment.

HIMI is one of the least anthropologically disturbed areas in the world and is Australia’s largest International Union for Conservation of Nature Strict Nature Reserve, which is the highest category of protected area recognised by the World Commission on Protected Areas.

The draft management plan has a strong focus on biosecurity and waste management and is the second plan prepared for the Reserve under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Reserve is about 4,000 kilometres south-west of mainland Australia in the southern Indian Ocean. It covers 71 000 square kilometres in area, including 6200 square kilometres of high conservation waters added to HIMI in March this year.

Comments must be sent by Friday 15 August 2014.