Published on Australian Maritime Safety Authority (

Our environment

Protecting the marine environment

Australia implements a range of standards and regulations to protect the marine environment and meet our international obligations.

Our maritime safety and protection of sea laws implement these international and domestic standards.

As an active member of the IMO, we work collaboratively with other members to ensure maritime safety and pollution prevention strategies are implemented effectively and consistently.


Australia addresses pollution issues at an international level by enacting International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions to prevent incidents, such as container loss through better securing of cargoes, and to address greenhouse gas emissions through enacting the IMO’s The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI.

Australia works to stop ship-sourced plastic litter entering our seas by collaborating with industry to ensure they are aware of and can comply with MARPOL regulations relating to both storage and disposal of equipment and waste. We will continue to work in the IMO to address this pollution. 

Rapid responses to maritime incidents and pollution incidents

The Australian Government also works closely with industries to implement rapid responses to maritime incidents and pollution incidents in our region. We have in place national agreements for areas of refuge and emergency towage options for vessels in emergency situations.

Read more about the work we do in protecting Australia’s pristine marine environment.

Latest news on our efforts to tackle marine pollution