A variety of tenures and uses within the Shark Bay property means management can be complex. A ministerial council and two advisory committees work on policy, management plans and other issues affecting the World Heritage Area.

Much of Shark Bay’s World Heritage values can be effectively protected and managed with existing tenure although changes in tenure may improve the protection and management of values in some areas. For example, some lands used for pastoralism have been purchased for conservation purposes.

  • 882 000 ha (40.2%) is marine reserves
  • 687 750 ha (31.4) are other state waters
  • 131 732 ha (6%) is pastoral leases
  • 232 750 ha (10.6%) is ex pastoral lease purchased for conservation
  • 80 015 ha (3.6%) is ex pastoral lease proposed conservation reserve
  • 121 825 ha (5.6%) are national parks, nature reserves, conservation parks
  • 56 607 ha (2.6%) is unallocated crown land, un-managed reserve, shire reserves
  • 842 ha (0.04%) is freehold land