Cocos (Keeling) Islands Marine Park extends from most of the islands’ shoreline to the limit of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (AEEZ), approximately 200 nautical miles from shore.

The tropical waters that surround the Cocos (Keeling) Islands contain a mix of coral reef species from both the Indian and Pacific Oceans and over 600 species of fish. The overlap of these waters gives rise to varieties of hybrid marine fish and endemic species that are found nowhere else on earth. The central lagoon system encompasses a variety of unique and distinct habitats including seagrass which is essential for the resident green turtle population as well as for sustaining fish populations. The outer reef habitats are dominated by hard and soft corals and have a high abundance and diversity of reef fish and other species.

The offshore waters and habitats of Cocos (Keeling) Islands Marine Park are relatively poorly studied, but are known to contain a range of unique seafloor features, habitats and species, particularly seamounts, deep-sea plains, and a significant deep-sea ridgeline. The marine park also protects the foraging habitat of thousands of seabirds which nest on North Keeling Island (Pulu Keeling National Park) as well as species like dolphins, deep sea fish and sharks that are or may be threatened elsewhere in the region.

The park covers an area of 467,054 square kilometres. Its offshore waters are a National Park Zone where extractive activities are not permitted. There are two small inshore NPZs at Direction Island and at Trannies Beach. Its inshore waters are a Habitat Protection Zone where fishing is permitted, but activities that disturb the seafloor (like mining or dredging) are not allowed.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands Christmas Island ranges from the high tide mark to more than 6,000 metres depth, with an average depth of 4,990 metres. The majority of the park (92%) falls within the abyssal zone (4,000-6,000 metres). [View on map]

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Coverage and accessibility of bathymetry (AusSeabed) and habitat observations (SQUIDLE+; green, GlobalArchive; purple, and MARS database; orange) for selected region.

What's known about the Cocos (Keeling) Islands marine park?

The current state of research knowledge (bathymetry, physical and biological observations, seafloor habitat maps) for this region.
Habitat and bathymetry summaries last refreshed April 2024. Habitat observations are refreshed weekly from data providers.


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Habitat Observations

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What's in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands marine park?

Underwater imagery from this region, and pressures and activities occurring here.


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Pressures & Activities