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Marine national parks and sanctuaries

Old wives. Photo: Dave Bryant


Victoria's network of marine national parks and sanctuaries dots the coastline from Portland in the far southwest to picturesque Mallacoota near the border with NSW.

The network is made up of 13 marine national parks and 11 smaller sanctuaries. It covers 5.3% of Victoria's marine waters.

All marine plants and animals in these areas are fully protected from extractive industries such as fishing and oil and gas exploration, creating an 'insurance policy' against environmental impacts.


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With more than 90% of species in Australia's southern waters occurring nowhere else in the world, Victoria's network of marine national parks protects some our most iconic and charismatic species including the Weedy Sea Dragon, Blue Devil Fish, Southern Fiddler Ray and Blue Groper.

Leading scientists from around the world agree that establishing marine national parks is the best way for marine ecosystems to survive and thrive.

Victoria's current network falls short of the long-term protection needed for our oceans. The VNPA is leading the charge to extend much-needed critical protection for our marine environment.


Explore underwater Victoria!

Explore Underwater VictoriaThis website showcases the beauty and diversity of Victoria's magnificent underwater world. Developed with support from Museum Victoria and Reef Watch Victoria, it's a great resource.

Explore Underwater Victoria

Explore our marine worldMarine TV

Through our Marine TV pages you can explore Victoria's magnificent underwater world without getting your toes wet!

Watch our marine videos

Conservation priorities

The VNPA's fourth nature conservation review is a detailed scientific report looking at the need to better protect Victoria's marine environment.

The review was carried out by Australian Marine Ecology, a scientific organisation specialising in marine ecological research and consulting.

Find out more


Fact sheet

Learn about the important role marine national parks and sanctuaries play in protecting ocean life and why Victoria needs to boost its underwater protection.

Downlaod fact sheet