Ocean management: the legal framework
The South-east Regional Marine Plan: National Oceans Office, 2002. ISBN 1 8770 4320 6.
About the report
This assessment report attempts to describe broadly the Commonwealth legislation that affects how we use and protect our oceans in the South-east Marine Region (SEMR). This is the management and institutional framework of the SEMR.
We need to understand the framework in order to decide how it can be used to implement regional marine plans, or if the framework ultimately needs to be varied or supplemented for regional marine planning.
Our management of our oceans is not made up by a single framework for oceans use, but has arisen historically from sectoral planning, eg fisheries agencies regulate fishing and environment agencies regulate the use of the environment. This approach is jurisdictionally based and characterised by a multiplicity of legislation.
More than 100 pieces of Commonwealth legislation apply to ocean use and ecosystem health in the South-east Marine Region (see Appendix I).
This Report describes broadly the management of the sectors and divides them into the following chapters:
- overarching legislative framework of marine regulation in Australia
- shipping and related activities
- Indigenous interests
- maritime security
- environment protection
- living marine resources
- seabed and subsoil activities
- tourism and recreation
The report then presents some concerns and issues regarding the current framework for managing Australia’s oceans, as well as possible issues for implementing a regional marine plan. Key stakeholders presented these issues and views to the National Oceans Office during a workshop conducted to assist the assessment process.
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