Chapter 9

Fisheries and Marine Protection


Recent years have seen rapid changes to marine protection laws after a long history of neglect.

Marine areas are used for many purposes and, because it is often difficult to clearly identify marine boundaries, protection laws are complex and administered by a wide variety of bodies and statutes.

Laws of the sea

The following table gives a guide to the principal legislation you may need to refer to.

LegislationWhat it does
Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 Generally regulates and protects the living marine environment.
Environmental Management & Pollution Control Act 1994 Regulates pollution and emission controls in the marine environment.
Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 Regulates planning and management for marine farming.
National Parks & Reserves Management Act 2002 For declaration and management of Marine Protected Areas (marine reserves).
Nature Conservation Act 2002 Manages and protects some marine species.
Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 Protects threatened marine species.
State Coastal Policy 1996 Has important implications for developments within the coastal zone.
State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997 Has important implications for monitoring of water bodies and regulation of point source and diffuse emissions.
Inland Fisheries Act 1995 Regulates recreational and commercial fishing in inland waters.

Managing coastal fisheries (wild fisheries)

Making the industry sustainable

fish_trawling.jpg The commercial fishing industry makes a valuable contribution to the Tasmanian economy and to regional employment. However, in the past a lack of regulation resulted in over-exploitation of certain fish stocks.

There has been community concern that natural marine ecosystems are being irretrievably damaged through over-exploitation. As a result, new legislation has been enacted and updated to keep abreast with research and community expectations.

The fishing industry has necessarily had to face a reduction in the fishing of some over-exploited species, in order to protect its long term future.

How are coastal fisheries managed for sustainability?

Protection of the marine environment is generally regulated under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995. This Act is part of the state's Resource Management and Planning System which provides opportunities for public participation (☛ go to Chapter 4).

This Act has overriding implications for both commercial and recreational fisheries, as well as for aquaculture, marine reserves, marine pollution, release and importation of fish, disease and pests and other marine habitat protection issues. Under the Act, a fish is defined to include aquatic reptiles, all invertebrates, fish and sharks, marine plants and even protozoa and bacteria (☛ see section 4).

The marine environment is extremely complex, and fisheries management has to straddle commercial issues with many competing recreational, social and environmental concerns. Effective management of the industry requires both legislation and management strategies, including community education.

What does the Act do?

The Act and its regulations set minimum sizes of fish that can be taken, gear that is allowable, total allowable catches, and bag limits for fisheries at risk of over fishing. The commercial fishing industry must comply with strict quotas and licensing regulations.

The Act also provides for various licences which must be obtained before anyone can catch, process or handle fish commercially. The court may make an order suspending or cancelling a licence if the licence holder does not comply with the conditions of the licence (☛ see section 90).

Sections 174 to 201 of the Act give wide power to fisheries officers to enter and search premises, vessels and fish processing plants, detain vessels, make arrests and seize fish catches. Persons who breach the Act risk the forfeit of not only their fish catch, but their equipment and fishing vessel as well (☛ see section 225).

Section 125 of the Act makes it an offence to allow any introduced fish to escape into state waters (unless you have a special permit). Offenders risk a maximum fine of $130,000.

What are Fisheries Management Plans?

fishing3.jpgUnder the Act, DPIPWE prepares draft Fisheries Management Plans which set out the rules for each fishery. Management plans for a specified fishery can address a wide variety of matters, such as prohibitions on the taking of particular fish, fishing seasons, where fishing vessels can be unloaded, and measures to limit 'accidental catches' (also called ‘bycatch’).

Once a Draft Management Plan has been prepared, public notice is given and any person can make a written representation within the time period set out in the notice (no less than 60 days). The Secretary must consider all representations and may make changes to the draft plan to address the concerns raised by the public before submitting the plan to the Minister. Before approving the plan, the Minister must be satisfied that the plan promotes and develops commercial or recreational fishing without detriment to the fish habitat and environment.

From time to time, Fisheries Management Plans can be reviewed. The public will be notified of a proposed review and can make representations. Where urgent action is required to protect fish stocks, the Minister can make a ministerial order amending a Fisheries Management Plan without going through a formal review process. The order must be published in the Gazette (see section 49).

When do federal laws apply?

Generally speaking, Tasmanian laws apply to all waters within 3 nautical miles of Tasmanian coastline and Commonwealth laws apply outside that limit.

However, the Offshore Constitutional Settlement (OCS), agreed in the early 1980s, allows the Commonwealth and States to enter into more practical arrangements for managing some major fisheries. In general, States retain responsibility for day-to-day management of all recreational fishing. Some Commonwealth marine areas are also subject to state control under OCS arrangements.

The Commonwealth is responsible for the migratory tuna fisheries (including southern blue-fin tuna, yellow-fin and big-eye), the central zone of the Bass Strait Scallop Fishery, the Small Pelagic Fishery and the Southern Shark Fishery. Commonwealth legislation also provides protection for nationally listed threatened and migratory species

In addition, a range of Commonwealth laws attempt to give effect to various international treaties – eg to protect and manage fish resources, to protect the Antarctic environment, to regulate sea dumping, to protect endangered species of fish and marine life and to control pollution by ships.

☛ Go to Chapter 15 for more information about federal species protection laws and the application of Commonwealth laws to marine conservation.

Relevant federal laws

Review of the Fisheries Management Act 1991

In September 2012, the Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig announced that there would be a review undertaken of the Commonwealth Fisheries Management legislation, including both the Fisheries Management Act 1991 and the Fisheries Administration Act 1991.

The main objective of the review is to recommend changes that reflect environmental, economic and social considerations, improve integration with EPBC Act and better align the legislation with the precautionary principle.

David Borthwick AO PSM was assigned to conduct the review, with the objective of modernising the fisheries management system.

The Borthwick Report was released in March 2013. The Government has given in-principle support to the main recommendations, but has yet to enact legislation to give effect to the recommendations. Consultation in relation to the proposed changes is expected later in 2013.

Role of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)

AFMA was established under the Fisheries Management Act 1991 to manage Commonwealth fisheries by developing fisheries management plans, sustainable policies and harvest strategies.

AFMA’s role also involves ensuring that Australia fulfils its international obligations in relation to sustainable fishing management.

It also has a data collection program in order to complete research and assessment of fishery impacts on fish stocks, as well as guide decision makers with information. Of late, this final duty of AFMA’s has come under fire in relation to the information that was provided to the Minister concerning the possible effects of the super trawler.

Strategic Assessments

Under Part 10 of the EPBC Act, strategic assessments can be made in relation to Australia’s Commonwealth fisheries. Strategic assessments take into consideration large scale effects of a course of action or development, rather than managing on a project-by-project basis. In this way, strategic assessments can be helpful in gauging the cumulative impacts of a particular project on matters of national environmental significance.

AFMA undertakes strategic assessments of individual fisheries in order to determine how they are managed. This means that rather than continually having to asses a fishery’s individual operations, once a strategic assessment has been made, it gives approval for all operations to be carried out – as long as they are in accordance with that fishery’s approval management plan.

The ‘Super Trawler’

In 2012, one of the most significant public debates in relation to marine fishing centred around the operation of the FV Margiris, the world’s second largest ‘super trawler’, in Australia’s Small Pelagic Fishery. The 143m long vessel, later renamed the Abel Tasman, was granted a quota to harvest 18,000 tonnes of mackerel and redbait in Australia's southern waters.

Supertrawlers have a bad international reputation for depleting fish stocks and poorly monitored fishing practices. The main public concern with allowing the Abel Tasman to fish in Australian waters was the amount of ‘by-catch’ that is killed in the large nets, including turtles, dolphins, seals and migratory sea birds.

Concerns were also raised regarding the potential for the amount of fish able to be taken by the supertrawler at any one time to cause significant localised depletion of fish stocks. Recreational and small commercial fishermen were concerned about the impacts of this depletion on other species.

Advocates of the supertrawler, including a number of marine scientists, argued that fish stocks are managed by the quotas for the fishery, therefore, provided the quotas were complied with, the size of the vessel taking the fish was irrelevant. They also argued for the economic and transport efficiency of taking the quota with one ship, rather than a series of small vessels. As a response to significant public outcry, in September 2012, Environment Minister, Tony Burke, amended the EPBC Act to introduce a power to prevent “declared commercial fishing operations” such as the supertrawler if both the Environment Minister and the Minister for Fisheries agreed. An interim ban was imposed preventing the supertrawler from operating in the Small Pelagic Fishery, while the Ministers considered the issue. In November 2012, the Minister formally declared the supertrawler to be a Declared Commercial Fishing Operation under the EPBC Act.

This declaration effectively prohibits the supertrawler from operating in the Small Pelagic Fishery for two years, until a full scientific assessment can be carried out as to its effects.

An Expert Panel was appointed and given terms of reference in early 2013, in order to assess the adverse environmental impacts of large fishing vessels that can capture and store more than 2,000 tonnes of fish. The prohibition will remain in place until it is revoked, the Expert Panel reports its findings, or it expires (on 22 October 2014), whichever event happens first.

⇔ Click HERE to find out more information regarding the super trawler debate.

Marine farms (aquaculture)

A growing industry

fishing_farming.jpgIn the past ten years fish farming (or marine aquaculture) has become a major growth industry in Tasmania and a highly profitable one. Over 140 marine farms have sprung up around our coastline, and fish farming now comprises over 2,000 hectares.

Species being farmed are principally Pacific Oysters, Atlantic Salmon and Ocean Trout (all introduced species) as well as scallops, mussels and abalone. Farming of other marine species has also been mooted.

Growing concern

A marine farming lease conveys a right of exclusive occupation of a marine area, which may previously have been accessible to the general public, to the leaseholder. In this way, marine farming can change the use and amenity of coastal and estuarine waters.

Given the extent of potential changes in Tasmanian coastal and estuarine waters, many communities have raised concerns about the impacts of marine farming. Marine farming development plans have been approved for the areas in which marine farming occurs within Tasmania. These include the Huon River and D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Pitt Water, Pipe Clay Lagoon, Tasman Peninsula and Norfolk Bay, Great Oyster Bay and Mercury Passage, Georges Bay, the Tamar River, Port Sorell and the Far North West (Duck Bay, Big Bay and Montagu) Trumpeter Bay and Macquarie Harbour.

Community concerns include visual disturbances, ecological consequences on the marine environment, including the increased nutrient loads, spread of exotic 'feral' species, potential disease outbreaks in the marine environment, damaging effects on adjacent national parks, and alienating other users of the sea (swimming, boating etc).

Which agency administers marine farming?

The Marine Farming Branch of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment is responsible for assessing and regulating marine farming activities.

How is marine farming managed?

The rapid growth of marine farming in Tasmania in the 1990s resulted in specific legislation being established to manage this activity. Unlike other industries, marine farming is not subject to general planning controls; it is assessed, approved and regulated under a different process.

The Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 shares the objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System, including encouraging public participation. However, concerned citizens have more limited appeal rights in relation to marine farming than some other land-based developments.

The MFPA provides for the development of Marine Farming Development Plans. These plans identify zones in which marine farming is a permitted activity. Outside of these zones, marine farming is prohibited.

Under the Act, the public are given an opportunity to comment on Draft Marine Farming Development Plans (see below). The process for developing (or amending) a plan is similar to the process in place for land-based planning schemes under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

If the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel believes that current or future land-based activities in the area may have a negative impact upon marine farming, the Panel can request the Tasmanian Planning Commission to prepare an amendment to the local government Planning Scheme to address these concerns.

What are Marine Farming Development Plans?

The Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 purports to protect the marine environment and give stakeholders a say in marine farming development, largely through the development and implementation of Marine Farming Development Plans (MFDPs).

There are currently fourteen MFDPs in force for Tasmania’s coastal marine and estuarine waters.

Each MFDP identifies areas suitable for marine farming and incorporates these areas into marine farming zones. Within a marine farming zone there may be a number of farms, existing or potential, that may grow a range of species.

The MFDP must include:
  • a description of all marine farming zones in the plan area;
  • a description of the maximum area of the zone that can be leased;
  • an environmental impact statement (EIS). The level of information in the EIS will vary depending on the scale of the proposed plan and the public interest in the proposal. At a minimum, the EIS must address the potential environmental impacts of the proposal and make sure that the draft plan is consistent with the objectives of the RMPS.
  • draft management controls.
The MFDP can also include rules about:
  • species that may be grown in each zone;
  • limits on stocking density for each area;
  • other activities that may take place in the area;
  • environmental testing that must be carried out;
  • protecting or conserving the marine area (including water quality limits and restrictions on noise, light and disturbance); and
  • matters that must be considered before issuing a marine farm lease and conditions that must be attached to a lease.

Draft Marine Farming Development Plans (and draft amendments to MFDPs) are submitted to the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel for certification. Following certification, the draft plans are released for public comment for at least 2 months.

After considering the draft plans, the EIS and any representations received, the Panel makes a recommendation to the Minister regarding the proposed plan / amendment.

Can I have a say about Marine Farm Plans?

There are a number of opportunities for the public to get involved in the development of marine farming development plans.

1. Public meeting

In the event that a new plan is to be developed, DPIPWE will hold a public meeting to gather information about the current uses and values of the area. Notice of public meetings is given in regional newspapers.

It is really important to attend such meetings because it is an important opportunity to identify other water users and stakeholders in the area.

At these meetings, the Department will outline its proposed draft plan and the public will be invited to respond, either orally or to follow up in writing, describing the ways they may use the area (eg for recreational or commercial fishing, sailing or water skiing etc).

After initial consultation, the Department or a planning authority may prepare a Draft Marine Farming Development Plan for public exhibition.

2. Public Exhibition of a Marine Farming Development Plan

Once a draft plan (or an amendment) is developed, it is released for public exhibition for at least two months. There will be a public notice informing the community where the draft MFDP is available and how to make representations in relation to the plan.

Generally, the draft plans are available on the internet. If you do not have access to the internet, you will be able to inspect the draft plan at a DPIPWE office or to purchase a copy.

It is a good idea for your representation to draw attention to any requirements in Part 3 of the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 (especially, Sections 21 – 24), that have not been addressed in the draft plan. For example, you may believe that an identified Marine Farming Zone will not be sustainable because of the impacts on seagrass species, that mitigation measures proposed for environmental impacts are inadequate, that additional monitoring should be required or that alternative locations for the proposed marine zones should be discussed.

3. Public hearings

The Department reviews all written representations and prepares a report to the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel. This report must contain a copy of the written representations received and the Department’s response to these representations.

The Panel must consider all representations and must hold public hearings if at least one of the representors has requested this. If you made representation, you may be invited to attend the hearing and speak to the Panel. The hearings are generally fairly informal, and usually there will be an opportunity to ask questions from the floor.

The Panel will consider all submissions from the public, the provisions of the legislation and the State Coastal Policy before making a recommendation to the Minister about whether to approve the Draft Marine Farming Development Plan or not.

4. Minister’s decision

The Minister considers the Panel’s advice, along with all representations, and decides whether to:

  • approve the MFDP as applied for;
  • approve the MFDP with amendments or;
  • refuse to approve the MFDP

The Minister is not required to follow the recommendation of the Panel. However, s/he is required to consider their recommendations and to table reasons in Parliament for any decision that does not follow the Panel’s advice.

5. Appeals

There is no right of appeal if you do not agree with the Minister’s decision to approve a Marine Farming Development Plan. In some limited circumstances, you may be able to seek judicial review of the decision or the Panel’s recommendations if you can establish that the correct procedure was not following or that relevant considerations were ignored.

:!: Land based facilities associated with marine farming, such as on-shore sheds, are controlled by local councils and are subject to normal planning and pollution controls as prescribed under LUPAA and EMPCA (☛ Go to Chapters 5 and 6 for information).

6. Review

MFDPs are required to be reviewed at least once every ten years. Keep an eye out for notices inviting public comments on these reviews.

What other provisions apply to marine farms?

Marine farm leases give leaseholders exclusive right of access to the lease area for up to 30 years. The lessee can also apply for renewal of the lease.

Once a lease has been issued, you may still need a licence to carry out marine farming activities. Licensing of these activities is regulated by the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995.

What do I do if I am concerned about marine farm developments?

If you are concerned about the possibility of the release of pests, such as feral Pacific Oysters, from an approved marine farm, contact DPIPWE. Under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995, DPIPWE must act to minimise the outbreak of disease and control pests. To achieve this, DPIPWE can issue control orders in relation to marine farms.

You can also lobby outside the statutory planning processes prescribed by the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 by talking to government officers, Ministers, politicians, industry representatives, media and the general public. Many concerned citizens choose to lobby in order to get their message heard. To be most effective, you will need to start lobbying as soon as possible after you hear about a proposed Marine Farming Development Plan.

Tips for lobbying

  • Write letters to the Minister and Shadow Minister for Primary Industries and to the Marine Farming Branch of DPIPWE. You can also write to your local politicians, councils and newspapers.
  • Get together with other concerned people in your area to lobby jointly.
  • Try to set up a meeting with industry representatives, including the companies who will be operating in the marine farming plan area.
  • Contact other groups around the state who have had experience in lobbying to identify what worked for them.
  • Inform the local and extended community about what is being proposed, so as to gain public support for conservation of your waterway.
  • The Panel's focus is on environmental and other impacts of the proposed development. You should collect reliable scientific information as to the environmental impacts of the proposal – including expert evidence on such issues as noise, water currents, invasive species and suggested placement of nets.

Marine Reserves

Marine Protected Areas (sometimes called “marine reserves”) have essentially the same purpose as land-based national parks and reserves: setting aside habitats to protect natural ecosystems and plant and animal species.

the_sea4.jpg Marine reserves are also very important to the long term survival of the fishing industry, as an aid to protecting fish stocks and breeding grounds.

Although Tasmania has extensive areas of land within its reserve system, a much smaller percent of its coastal waters have been protected to date – despite having a very high biological diversity.

There has been strong commercial antagonism to setting aside marine reserves. At present Tasmania lags behind the rest of Australia, having by far the smallest area of marine reserves, and also the lowest proportion of its waters protected.

For a long time, only a handful of Marine Protected Areas were established around the Tasmanian coastline – located at Governor Island, Tinderbox and Ninepin Point, Maria Island, Port Davey - Bathurst Harbour (17 000 ha) and the Kent Group of Islands. The last three are marine extensions of terrestrial national parks.

In 2009, the government declared 14 new marine reserves following some of the Commission's recommendations in relation to its review of the Bruny Bioregion. All current marine reserves are listed on the DPIPWE website.

A larger reserve has also been declared around Macquarie Island in the far Southern Ocean.

Commonwealth Marine Reserves

The Commonwealth government declares its own system of Marine Reserves in nationally controlled waters and, in 2012, expanded the system of Commonwealth marine reserves by 2.3 million km2. The Commonwealth government also continues to work with State governments to encourage them to develop representative marine reserve networks in each State.

Of particular relevance to Tasmania is the South-East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network, which stretches from the far south coast of New South Wales, around Tasmania and Victoria and west to Kangaroo Island off South Australia.

⇔ Click HERE to find out more about reserves in South East Australia.

Expanding the marine reserve system

fish.jpg Recognising the failure to adequately reserve marine habitats, all states and the Commonwealth are now gradually working towards a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas, to ensure that sea habitats are adequately protected.

In Tasmania, moves towards greater protection of marine areas are very slow. The Marine and Marine Industries Council (comprising stakeholders and experts) finalised a Marine Protected Areas Strategy a number of years ago, but limited action has been taken to implement the Strategy.

Under the Strategy, the Tasmanian Planning Commission is responsible for undertaking public inquiries to identify and select new marine protected areas (under the process set out in Part 2 of the Public Land (Administration and Forests) Act 1991). These inquiries are initiated by the Minister for Planning and involve extensive public consultation.

For more information on the process for developing a marine reserve, visit this DPIPWE website. For information about the Public Inquiry process, visit the Planning Commission website.

How are marine reserves managed and protected?


Tasmanian marine reserves can be created under Part 5 of the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 or the Nature Conservation Act 2002. You will need to look at both Acts to find out what provisions apply (☛ see Chapter 7 for information about species protection under these Acts).

There are several different types of reserve areas with different rules and management strategies, depending on the purpose of the reserve and the values being protected. Management rules generally provide for habitat and species protection whilst allowing certain activities to take place (such as diving).

Marine reserve rules are enforced by the Marine Police, and by Parks and Wildlife officers.

☛ Go to Chapter 7 to see how Tasmania's coastal zone is managed.


The national Director of National Parks is responsible for ensuring that the South East Commonwealth Marine Reserve is effectively managed. The plan outlines zones within the reserves and categories of activities that can and cannot occur, and when approval from the Director is required. Activities regulated under the management plan include commercial fishing and tourism, mining, recreational activities, scientific research and vessel transit shipping.

The South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network Management Plan 2013-23 took effect on 1 July 2013.

What activities are prohibited in marine reserves?

Some reserves are 'no-take' reserves, whilst others allow certain types of fishing in certain areas. Generally, within a dedicated marine reserve, you must not:

  • collect any living or dead materials
  • harm or remove plants or animals
  • fish or set nets or pots within the reserve.

For the larger Kent Group and Port Davey / Bathurst Harbour marine reserves, there are ‘no take’ zones and restricted fishing zones where you can collect abalone and rock lobster and carry out line fishing.

Fishing in marine reserves is controlled by the Fisheries Rules 1999 under which zones are identified allowing fishing or restricted fishing within the marine components of the Kent Group, Maria Island and Southwest National Parks.

To see what activities are permitted and prohibited in each of the Tasmanian marine protected areas, visit this DPIPWE Website.

DPIPWE also issues permits for people who are undertaking research in Marine Protected Areas. Fishing is also restricted in a number of Research Reserves around Tasmania, so that research and monitoring can take place in those areas. For example, in the Bay of Fires, there is research being undertaken in relation to abalone. Fishing in the research area is completely banned for the duration of the study.

Marine Reserve Management plans

What avenues are there for public input?

Affected communities are consulted in the early stages.

Following this targeted consultation, a draft management plan is released for broader public comment. Any person may submit a written representation in relation to the draft plan within the period set out in the notice.

If the marine reserve has been declared under the Nature Conservation Act 2002
  • All representations will be forwarded to the Commission to consider.
  • The Commission may hold a public hearing before making a recommendation report to the Minister in relation to the draft Management Plan.
If the reserve has been declared under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995
  • All representations will be forwarded to the Secretary to consider before making a recommendation report to the Minister.
  • Once a management plan has been signed off by the Governor and published in the Gazette, there are no legislative avenues for appeal. The plans are generally reviewed after 10 years.
How do I find out about Marine Reserve Management Plans?

You can find out about more about draft and final Marine Reserve Management Plans by contacting the Marine Resources Branch or the Parks and Wildlife Service.

⇔ Click HERE to see the list of current Management Plans.

Marine pollution

marine_pollution2.jpgPollution of the sea is mostly regulated by general pollution laws, including pollution from land-based sources, such as sewage outfalls.

The Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substance Act 1987 deals specifically with discharges of oil from ships and other matters. This Act gives effect to the international MARPOL convention on marine pollution.

There have been very few prosecutions in Tasmania for marine pollution, however recent changes to the Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substance Act 1987 and the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 will make it easier for enforcement action to be taken in respect of marine pollution incidents.

☛ Go to Chapter 6 for information about pollution laws and what to do if you are concerned about pollution, such as contacting the state pollution hotline on 1800 005 171.

Pollution outside of the 3-mile zone is controlled by the federal government under the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983 and the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping Act) 1981.

Under new regulations, dumping of wastes in sea water is the responsibility of the federal government, except within bays and estuaries (from low water mark).

What do I do if I am concerned about something that is happening in marine areas?

Legislation sets out heavy penalties for offences in marine protected areas.

However, the policing of the sea is very difficult so public assistance in reporting possible illegal activities is vital to fisheries and wildlife inspectors.

If you observe activities that may be illegal:
  • For fisheries offences you can contact the Marine Police on 6230 2475.
  • If the area is a marine reserve, you should contact a Parks & Wildlife ranger at their nearest station.
  • If waterway pollution is involved you should contact the EPA Division on 1800 005 172.
    ☛ Go to Chapter 6 for information regarding taking action in respect of pollution.
  • Try to find out as much as you can about the activities that are occurring, without putting yourself at risk.
  • Take photos and videos for evidence.
  • Record vehicle and boat registration numbers if possible.
  • Make a log of how often you see the activity occurring.
    ☛ Go to Chapter 13 for more information about taking action.

Further information & useful contacts

  • Parks and Wildlife Service
    Ph: 1300 135 513
  • EPA Division
    Level 7, 134 Macquarie Street, Hobart TAS 7000
    Ph: 03 6233 6518 Fax: 03 6233 3800
    To report a pollution and environmental incident:
    Freecall: 1800 005 171 (24-hours a day)
    To report a littering offence:
    Ph: 1300 135 513

Relevant laws

  • Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995
  • Marine Farming Planning Act 1995
  • Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substance 1987
  • National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002
  • Nature Conservation Act 2002
  • Inland Fisheries Act 1995
  • Threatened Species Protection Act 1995
  • State Coastal Policy 1996
  • State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997

You can download the above Acts from:

  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
  • Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982
  • Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983
  • Environment Protection (Sea Dumping Act) 1981

You can download commonwealth Acts from

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