Understanding the marine ecosystems surrounding Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) and their conservation status

Andrew J. Constable, Ian Cresswell, Nicholas J. Bax, Keith Reid

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Abstract

Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) are a remote subantarctic island group located about 4,000 km south-west of Western Australia and approximately 1,700 km from the
Antarctic continent. The HIMI exclusive economic zone (EEZ) abuts the French EEZ around the Kerguelen Islands. The HIMI complex is part of the Kerguelen Plateau, which is a large submerged continental plateau that extends more than 2,000 km, with only a few emergent volcanic islands. Heard Island and McDonald Island are the two largest islands with the only two active volcanoes in Australia.
Australia’s External Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands is truly a remarkable place. Situated in the subantarctic waters of the Indian Ocean about halfway between mainland Australia and Africa, and 1,700 km north of Antarctica, Heard Island is one of the remotest places on earth.
Both the marine and terrestrial environments of HIMI are globally recognized for their ecological significance, and include species not found elsewhere in Australia. Indeed, the entire region is subject to international agreements and regulations aimed at conserving its unique ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAustralian Marine Conservation Society
Number of pages141
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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