The Commonwealth marine area is any part of the sea, including the waters, seabed, and airspace, within Australia's exclusive economic zone and/or over the continental shelf of Australia, that is not State or Northern Territory waters.
The Commonwealth marine area stretches from 3 to 200 nautical miles from the coast. Marine protected areas are marine areas which are recognised to have high conservation value.
Protecting Commonwealth marine areas
Commonwealth marine areas are matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act.
An action will require approval if the:
- action is taken in a Commonwealth marine area and the action has, will have, or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment or
- action is taken outside a Commonwealth marine area and the action has, will have, or is likely to have a significant impact on the environment in a Commonwealth marine area
The action must be referred to the Minister and undergo an environmental assessment and approval process.
- Assessment and approval process
- Protected matters search tool — use the tool to find migratory species in your area of interest
- Significant impact guidelines — matters of national environmental significance
- Policy statement — Interaction between offshore seismic exploration and whales
- Conservation Values Atlas
- Marine bioregional plans
- Permits for Commonwealth marine parks and reserves