The Monk Bay Marine Conservation Area is located in Norfolk Bay off the central northern region of the Tasman Peninsula between Whitehouse Point in the north and Ironstone Bay in the south.
It comprises an area of 399.2 hectares and encompasses sheltered habitats with sandy beaches and sandstone platforms. There are significant offshore areas of highly productive seagrass (Heterozostera
), seaweed (Caulerpa
) and also soft silty benthic habitats in the relatively deep waters off Whitehouse Point.
Seagrass ecosystems have a high biodiversity, support complex food webs and play an important role in a wide range of nutrient cycling processes and primary production. They also provide nursery habitat and refuge for a number of organisms including crustaceans, molluscs, fish; sharks, stingrays and rays.
Seagrass is a relatively rare habitat for the Bruny Bioregion and the reserve is significant for conservation of these ecosystems and as a scientific reference area for seagrass habitats.
The area was proclaimed a conservation area under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 on 9 December 2009. This reserve class provides for the protection and maintenance of the natural and cultural values of the area and the sustainable use of natural resources.
Fishing is permitted in the reserve. Rules and regulations relating to recreational fishing in Tasmania can be found in the Recreational Sea Fishing Guide.