Declared Fish Habitat Area summary - Maaroom

Mangroves and intertidal flats of Maaroom declared Fish Habitat Area

Mangroves and intertidal flats of Maaroom declared Fish Habitat Area


Great Sandy Strait between the mainland and Fraser Island, south from the mouth of the Mary River, 22 km east of Maryborough.

Plan number

FHA-056 (PDF, 628.4KB)


23,669 ha

Management level


Declaration dates

22 January 1976 (original declaration)
24 March 1984 (redeclared to exclude a small barge area at Wanggoolba Creek)
28 March 2008 (redeclared to cadastral boundaries)

Local government

Fraser Coast Regional Council

Management features

Protection and conservation of fishing grounds and seagrass meadows supporting adult and juvenile fish and prawns.

Habitat values

Great Sandy Strait is a transition zone between temperate and tropical plant ecosystems with extensive mangrove zones, islands and banks and 11 species of mangroves including Avicennia, Ceriops and Aegialitis; saltmarsh along estuary; muddy shoals; extensive seagrass meadows with seven species present (Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule uninervis, Halophila ovalis, H. spinulosa, H. decipiens, Syringodium isoetifolium and Zostera capricorni).

Fisheries values

Mary River estuary is southernmost barramundi gillnet fishery; tropical and temperate fish species; bream; estuary cod; flathead; garfish; grunter; luderick; mangrove jack; sea mullet; tailor; whiting; banana prawns; king prawns; tiger prawns; mud crabs; oysters.

Unique features

Part of the most extensive seagrass area in south-east Queensland; part of one of Australia’s most diverse estuarine systems; most southerly example of a north-east coastal estuary.

Other values

Very important dugong habitat supported by extensive seagrass beds.

Further references

Beumer, J & Halliday, I 1994, Effects of habitat disturbance on coastal fisheries resources of Tin Can Bay/Great Sandy Strait, Report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (in prep), Enhanced management of Ramsar site wetlands within the Great Sandy Strait catchments, Final project report, Queensland Wetlands Program, Brisbane, Queensland.

Kirkwood, J M & Hooper, J N A 2004, Technical paper: Burnett Mary regional assessment coastal & marine biodiversity, Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management.

Lee Long, W J & O’Reilly, W K 2007, Ecological character description for the Great Sandy Strait RAMSAR site July 2007, Report for the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency.

Mackenzie, J & Duke, N C 2001, State of the Mangroves Report 2008: Condition assessment of the tidal wetlands of the Burnett May Region, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

McKenzie, L J 2000, Seagrass communities of Hervey Bay and the Great Sandy Strait December 1998, Queensland Department of Primary Industries Information Series.