The beautiful Limmen Bight Marine Park in the Gulf of Carpentaria includes Maria Island, which is an important cultural site and nesting ground for three species of sea turtles, such as the threatened flatback turtle. The shallow waters are home to extensive seagrass meadows – a dugong-haven.
The waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria are wild and varied, renowned for its far–reaching saltmarshes, mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and huge river deltas. The Limmen Bight region is home to numerous threatened species such as sea turtles, dugongs, seabirds, sawfish, and crocodiles.
Why is the Limmen Bight Marine Park so important?
Limmen Bight Marine Park sits in the south-west corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria alongside the Terrestrial Limmen National Park. This beautiful marine park is a dugong-haven due to its extensive seagrass meadows. The Park is home to Maria Island, whos long sandy beaches are an important nesting ground for three species of sea turtles, including the threatened flatback turtle.
Seagrass is not only important for larger marine animals like dugong but also tiny prawns, rare seahorses and pipefish which seek protection and nourishment in its greenery. The region’s wetlands and inter-tidal mudflats are an internationally important site for migratory shorebirds. Over one hundred species of fish are recorded in the region, including Australia’s threatened freshwater sawfish.
A management plan for the Limmen Bight Marine Park was released in May 2020, and the next step for this Marine Park is making sure there’s funding to put management and protection measures in place. AMCS recognises that marine sanctuaries – like national parks on land – are necessary to protect our marine biodiversity. A strong marine park plan, with good management and future funding commitments in the Territory Budget will protect our wildlife and create significant benefits for the Territory’s people, fishing and tourism economy.
Aboriginal Traditional Owners and Sea Rangers
Indigenous owners are active throughout the region and have a strong and lasting connection to land and sea country. Drawing on traditional knowledge, contemporary science, and their increasing legal rights, they visit sacred sites, track sea life, report illegal fishing and remove ghost nets while maintaining and renewing their cultural connections the incredible environments of the north marine region.
AMCS recognises the Marra people as the traditional owners of these waters and believes they should be involved in jointly managing the park, if that is their wish, as they have a unique role to play in caring for sea country.