United Nations World Oceans Day 2024 is Saturday 8 June

Friday 7 June 2024
We are celebrating World Oceans Day 2024: Catalyzing action for our ocean and climate.

World Oceans Day celebrates our oceans and raises awareness about ocean conservation.  This year’s theme connects ocean conservation with protecting our global climate. It highlights our collective responsibility to take action to protect both.

The ocean is both the source of our nation’s precious and diverse marine life and a pillar of our prosperity.  It supports:

  • trade and shipping industries
  • fishing and tourism sectors
  • the livelihoods of many in regional and metropolitan communities.  

As the national maritime regulator, our mission includes protecting our oceans from ship-sourced pollution.  

To do this we work both internationally and here at home.

Reducing harmful emissions from shipping

We support efforts at the IMO to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. We're also supporting the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (DITRDCA) as it develops the Maritime Emissions Reduction Action Plan (MERNAP).

Visit the DIRTDCA website to learn about the MERNAP.

To support short-term efforts to decarbonise shipping, we reissued Marine Order 97. This order requires international ships to reduce their carbon intensity. The short-term goal is to reduce the emissions of the global fleet by an average of at least 40% by 2030 (compared to 2008 levels). Mid-term measures are currently being negotiated at the IMO.

Learn more about this work to reduce emissions.

Reducing garbage and plastic waste from vessels

Recycling trial

We're also looking at ways to encourage international ships to recycle more. We want to see more material get recycled and less ending up in landfill in Australia.

We're working with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) on recycling options for ships visiting Australian ports. This includes identifying:

  • the impacts of Australia’s biosecurity rules on options for recycling
  • opportunities for greater sustainability for the shipping industry.

Six ports around Australia are participating in the recycling trial. This will support the development of a national recycling framework for Australian ports.

Efficient recycling and waste management will also mean less chance of garbage from ships ending up in our oceans.

Reducing lost or discarded fishing gear

Lost or discarded fishing nets, lines and traps are a harmful source of plastic pollution. We're supporting the IMO’s efforts to reduce the amount that ends up in our oceans.

Actions considered at the IMO include:

  • mandatory marking of fishing gear
  • extending existing reporting of fishing gear to cover all losses and discharges.  

The data reported to the IMO will inform measures to reduce plastic fishing gear in our oceans.

On World Oceans Day, let's all do our part to protect our oceans.

By working together, we can help keep them healthy and resilient for the future.

Learn more about ongoing work to protect our marine environment.

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