The fringing coral reefs of the Buccaneer Archipelago’s thousand rocky islands are some of most diverse in the Kimberley. Vast seagrass beds and mangroves surround the islands and are home to an abundance of marine life. Australian humpback dolphins thrive in the strong currents and whirlpools produced by huge tides of up to 12 metres.
For more than a decade, The Kimberley - Like Nowhere Else Alliance lobbied for the protection of the Buccaneer Archipelago with Traditional Owners, and in 2022 we celebrated the historic announcement of three new marine parks across the Buccaneer, jointly owned and joint managed by Traditional Owners.
The three new marine parks - Bardi Jawi Gaarra, Mayala and Maiyalam marine parks - cover 600,000 hectares of sea country along the Kimberley coast and will be added to the existing marine conservation network in the Great Kimberley Marine Park, covering more than 3.1 million hectares or protection.
The new marine parks are also history-making, as they are the first with special purpose cultural zones and joint-vesting, recognising the importance of Aboriginal culture in conservation.
This was and continues to be a huge moment for Bardi Jawi, Mayala and Dambeemangarddee Traditional Owners.