The public is being invited to comment on a proposal to expand the Heard and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve and a proposal to prepare a draft management plan for the reserve.

The World Heritage-listed islands are located in the Southern Ocean, about 4,000 km south-west of Western Australia, and are the only volcanically active islands in the sub-Antarctic.

They are home to large wildlife populations, including seals, petrels, albatrosses and penguins. The region’s land and marine life are vulnerable to climate change impacts like reduced rainfall, ocean acidification and changing ocean currents.

The Australian Government is proposing to expand the Heard and McDonald Island (HIMI) Marine Reserve by over 300,000 km2 to around 379,000 km2.

The expanded reserve would cover nearly 90 per cent of the Exclusive Economic Zone around the islands and bring the proportion of Australian waters protected through marine reserves to 51 per cent.

The proposed expansion would help protect globally significant foraging areas for seabirds and seals while supporting the continuation of the sustainable Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery.

The public comment period runs from 5 July to 5 September 2024. Comments can be submitted through the DCCEEW Consultation Hub HIMI Have Your Say page.

If you have any questions, please contact