French Island Marine National Park
Address: French Island, French Island, Victoria 3921
Freecall: 131 963
Located 10km south of Tooradin, French Island Marine National Park is adjacent to the northern shoreline of French Island National Park in Western Port. Extending 15km along the shoreline, the park encompasses approximately 2800ha. It includes one of Victoria's most extensive areas of saltmarsh and mangrove communities and also includes mudflats of state geomorphological significance.
The tidal channel system of varying depths, profiles and orientations, contributes to the high diversity of habitats, including many seagrass beds in the surrounding waters. These seagrass beds are particularly important as they have largely disappeared in other areas of the bay since the 1950s.
These habitats are important feeding and roosting grounds for the 32 migratory wader bird species found in Western Port. Including these migratory birds, 295 bird species have been spotted in Western Port including Black Swans, Pied Oystercatchers and Royal Spoonbills. French Island Marine National Park is part of the Western Port RAMSAR site.
In addition to the bird life, there is a rich diversity of marine life. The seagrass beds support many commercially viable species such as King George Whiting, Black Bream and Yellow-eyed Mullet. The mudflats support a wide variety of benthic animals such as worms and bivalves. These animals are important for nutrient cycling because they convert the detritus of the bay into animal tissue which is fed upon by birds and fishes.
Before you go
Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.
Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.
The French Island Marine National Park is located about 10 km south of Tooradin, and is adjacent to the northern shoreline of French Island National Park, in Western Port Bay.
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Looking After The Park
For the protection of the marine environment, a number of activities are prohibited within the boundaries of Victoria's marine national parks and marine sanctuaries. No fishing, netting, spearing, taking or killing of marine life. All methods of fishing, from the shore or the sea, are prohibited. As users of the marine environment, you can help minimise your impact on these areas by being mindful of the following points: * enjoy the marine environment without removing the plants and animals * minimise your impact while diving and snorkelling by: * being careful to avoid damage to marine life caused by fins d * eveloping good skills in buoyancy control * securing all gauges and pressure hoses to avoid snagging them on objects * take any rubbish home with you - do not dump rubbish into the sea * avoid stressing marine life by not chasing or grabbing free-swimming animals * exercise great care if approached by large marine animals (including birds) & avoid blocking their paths if moving * take care where you anchor your boat (anchor in sand, rubble or mud, avoiding sensitive areas, and use mooring buoys where provided) * do not pollute the water with sewage - ensure that if your vessel has an onboard toilet that it has an approved sewage holding facility and that sewage is disposed of appropriately on land * take the time to learn more about Victoria's marine animals and plants and the habitats they depend upon Remember, Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries are NO TAKE ENVIRONMENTS. All objects (artefacts), animals eg. fish and crustaceans, plants, and the seabed are totally protected.
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