Coastal, Marine & Fisheries Management - EDO NSW

Coastal, Marine & Fisheries Management

EDO NSW has produced a number of resources on coastal, marine and fisheries management.

This includes law reform work (read our submissions below) and public interest litigation to protect the environment (read about past cases on coastal, marine and fisheries management).

Our fact sheets on this subject include Coastal Protection.

See current opportunities for law reform in this area at Have Your Say about coastal, marine and fisheries management.


Discussion Paper – Decommissioning Offshore Petroleum Infrastructure in Commonwealth Waters

31 January 2019: Download this submission

EDOs of Australia has submitted a comment on this Discussion Paper.

EDOA strongly supports proposals to strengthen the regulatory framework for management decommissioning of offshore petroleum infrastructure. It is clear from the experience of mine rehabilitation in the terrestrial environment that without an adequate regulatory framework there is a significant risk of offshore petroleum infrastructure being abandoned at the end of production, thereby leaving the Australian community with a large financial burden that should rightly be borne by those companies’ profiting from exploitation of offshore petroleum resources. We provide comment on the Discussion Paper in relation to seven issues:

-Decommissioning principles
- Decommissioning Obligations
- Information Available to Government
- Legal Responsibility
- Financial responsibility mechanisms
- Post-title compliance and enforcement
- Other issues and opportunities

NOPSEMA Draft Regulations on Improving Consultation and Transparency of Offshore Oil and Gas

16 November 2018: Download this submission

This submission provides comment on the consultation and transparency provisions for offshore petroleum activities under the proposed Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Amendment (Consultation and Transparency) Regulations 2018 (draft Regulation).

EDOA welcomes the draft Regulation and strongly supports the proposal to improve consultation and transparency during the assessment of offshore petroleum activities consistent with recommendations previously made by EDOA. This submission provides brief feedback on:
- Sensitive information
- Publication of an Environment Plan
- Public comment period
- Levies, and
- Transitional provisions.

Draft Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-2028 - EDO NSW submission

November 2017 - Download submission

EDO NSW has made a submission on the Draft Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-2028 and the supporting information exhibited by the Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA).

This submission provides comments in relation to: establishing a comprehensive, adequate and representative marine reserve network; Management Objectives; Aboriginal management of Sea Country; measuring outcomes; new versus existing actions; integration with the planning system; and resources for implementation. 

Link to this submission page.

Draft Marine Estate Management Regulation 2017 - EDO NSW submission

June 2017 - Download submission

The proposed regulation includes an amendment to delete a clause that provides a strict protection for the marine environment by ensuring that the objects of the zone are the primary consideration in any decision to grant a permit for activities within a marine park, relying instead on the relevant Ministers ‘having regard to’ certain assessment criteria.

Sanctuary and no-take zones are critical to the health of our marine parks. We do not support any weakening of protections.

Public submissions on this important marine regulation close on Sunday 9 July 2017. Read more and have your say »

Link to this submission’s page.

NSW Marine Estate Threat and Risk Assessment (TARA) Draft Report – EDO NSW submission

31 March 2017 – Download PDF

The draft report identifies threats to the marine and estuary areas of NSW, plus the socio-economic benefits received from these critical environmental resources. 

Overall we welcome the draft report and its associated documents. However, we identify a number of flaws in the assessment that we argue may lead to poor prioritisation of management of the NSW marine estate, especially over the long-term. Specific issues we address in our submission are:

  1. Objectives for the environmental TARA
  2. Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel (MEEKP) Evaluation Process
  3. TARA risk matrices
  4. Method for calculating prioritisation scores

Note: The deadline for public submissions on this report has been extended to Tuesday 18 April 2017. Find out how to make a submission.

Link to this submission's page.

Inquiry into shark mitigation and deterrent measures – EDOs of Australia submission

March 2017 – Download PDF

In this submission, we explore the legal exemptions that have allowed shark netting and shark culling to operate in NSW, Queensland and WA, without full environmental impact assessment, and strongly recommend that all existing shark cull measures, and any new proposals, should be subject to full and rigorous assessment.

It is inappropriate for programs with questionable efficacy, that are known to impact on threatened and protected species, to be allowed to continue to operate and expand without comprehensive environmental assessment, including full consideration of alternative measures.

Given the lack of knowledge about the extent to which many of these species can withstand the loss arising from shark culls, the ongoing use of exemptions to allow shark culls is inappropriate.

For more, see NSW shark netting trials: an exception that should not become a rule, EDO NSW blog, 10 February 2017.

Link to this submission's page.

Draft management plans for Australian Marine Parks that are managed by Parks Australia - EDOA submission

September 2017 - Download our submission 

This is the latest stage of the long running review of marine bioregional planning at the national level. We are extremely concerned by the low levels of protection for marine environments proposed in the current draft management plans and zoning arrangements. These levels are significantly reduced from previous proposals and will not ensure the comprehensive adequate and representative system of marine reserves that is needed. This submission focuses on issues of concern that apply across all draft management plans and Marine Parks, namely:

  • Proposal to change from Marine Reserves to Marine Parks;
  • Proposed zoning arrangements; and
  • Proposed management actions.

We have made submissions on previous stages:

Draft Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy – EDO NSW submission

January 2017 – Download PDF

This submission builds on our previous submissions and analyses of coastal management reform in NSW. The submission focuses on the impacts of expanded urban development in and near sensitive coastal environments. Our main recommendation is that the new coastal SEPP explicitly confirm that exempt and code-complying development is not permitted in or adjacent to environmentally sensitive areas.

Previous work on coastal management reforms include:

Link to these submissions

EDOs of Australia submission on the Productivity Commission Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Inquiry: Draft Report

October 2016 – Download PDF

EDOs of Australia broadly supports the draft recommendations for wild caught fisheries and aquaculture. Our comments relevant to the regulation of fishing in Commonwealth marine reserves are set out in our Submission on Marine Reserves Review (March 2015), and detailed commentary regarding aquaculture is provided in EDO Tasmania’s submission on the Issues Paper for this Inquiry.

Our latest submission makes further comment on access to fisheries resources, customary fishing, recreational fishing, managing the environmental impacts of fisheries, aquaculture, downstream processes, and other areas for improvements.

EDOs of Australia submission to the inquiry into the impacts of climate change on marine fisheries and biodiversity

November 2016 - Download PDF

Our submission focusses on the adequacy of current and proposed marine biodiversity protections,with particular reference to the regulatory framework for managing the impacts of climate change on marine fisheries and biodiversity. Our comments and recommendations are set out in three key sections: background context; assessing climate change readiness; and legislative frameworks for marine biodiversity.

Link to this submission.

EDOs of Australia have made two key submissions on the Federal Government's review of marine reserves.

Submission on the reports of the independent Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review

October 2016 - Download PDF

Building on our previous submissions, this submission comments on the planning and zoning proposals, policy implementation and specific impacts (climate change and mining), and makes brief comments on specific bioregions.


Submission to Marine Reserves Review

March 2015 - Download PDF

This submission addresses:
1. International obligations and guidelines
2. Commonwealth legislation and policy
3. ESD and the precautionary principle
4. Climate change and resilience
5. Impacts of mining
6. Specific planning recommendations (Coral Sea Network, Temperate East Network, and North Network)

Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion Assessment Suggested Management Initiatives Discussion Paper - EDO NSW submission

May 2016 – Download PDF

Our submission addresses the Threat and Risk Assessment (TARA) process, the relationship with current legislative processes, and each of the eight suggested management initiatives outlined in the discussion paper.

We argue that the highest priority management initiative for Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion should be the implementation of a large-scale, multi-use marine park that provides comprehensive, adequate and representative protection of the marine estate. Such a marine park would address a large number of high and moderate risks and threats, and is the suggested management initiative that is most consistent with the object of the Marine Estate Management Act 2014.

Submission responding to the NSW Coastal Management Reforms

February 2016 - Download PDF

Our submission, EDO NSW identifies seven Key Actions that are necessary to conserve sensitive coastal environments, build resilience to the impacts of climate change and ensure that all development in the coastal zone is consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development. These Actions are:

  1. A catchment-based approach to coastal management, supported by appropriate mapping 
  2. An emphasis on strategic planning and proper assessment of cumulative impacts 
  3. The creation of ‘red flag areas’ to protect sensitive coastal environments 
  4. The acquisition of sensitive coastal areas by the NSW Government 
  5. Development controls that are in all instances consistent with ESD 
  6. A new approach to managing sea level rise in NSW 
  7. Appropriate resourcing to facilitate compliance and enforcement

See also:

EDOs of Australia submission on the threat of marine plastic pollution in Australia and Australian waters

9 October 2015 - Download PDF

In this submission EDOs of Australia calls for:

  • additional regulatory measures to reduce key sources of marine plastic pollution, based on best available evidence (e.g. further implementation of container deposit schemes and extending bans on single-use plastic bags);
  • better resourcing and implementation for pollution offences and infrastructure (internalising pollution costs through a polluter pays approach);
  • timely cooperation between state and federal governments, raising standards to a ‘highest common denominator’ approach to reducing plastic pollution (without delaying effective state efforts like the schemes mentioned above); and
  • reviewing the adequacy of oversight of fishing gear and garbage disposal at sea, and considering Australia’s capacity-building role on marine plastic pollution in the Asia-Pacific region.

Submission on Fisheries Management Amendment Bill 2015

3 July 2015 - Download PDF

Senate Inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill 2014

June 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on draft planning circular: Coastal hazard notations on s 149 planning certificates.

3 March 2014 - Download PDF

ANEDO submission on streamlining of environmental approvals for offshore petroleum

December 2013 - Download PDF

Submission on Marine Parks Audit Report

30 June 2012 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission on the Coral Sea Commonwealth marine reserve proposal

27 February 2012 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission on the Commonwealth marine reserves network proposal and draft Marine Bioregional Plan for the Temperate East Marine Region

21 Feb 2012 - Download PDF

Submission to Independent Scientific Audit of Marine Parks in NSW

7 October 2011 - Download PDF

Submission on Grey Nurse Shark protection and recovery in NSW

26 August 2011 - Download PDF

Statutory Review of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 

12 November 2010 - Download PDF

briefing notes
discussion papers

Integrated oceans management in Australia.

More than just fish and ships - the case for an Oceans Act

September 2018

This report, written by EDO NSW for HSI Australia, sets out a vision for nationally integrated marine management, with strong national, regional and global leadership through a new Oceans Authority and clear framework legislation – an Oceans Act.

The pathway set out in this report will enable us to overcome the barriers that have prevented us from realising the vision of integrated oceans management until now. These barriers include our failure to implement policy through clear laws, our domestic jurisdictional wrangling and lines on maps that are about historical negotiations rather than ecological systems, the failure to actively engage state and local governments in national marine policy, and the lack of coordination between different ocean users and sectors both within and beyond national jurisdiction.

An expert forum.

March 2017: Marine biodiversity: Beyond national jurisdiction.

This report collates findings from an expert forum in early 2017.

The forum was organised by the Humane Society International, the Australian Committee for IUCN and EDO NSW and looked at the challenge of protecting marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. EDO NSW is working on oceans law reform with HSI and will continue this work in 2018.

Link to this page.

Global Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef: Australia's obligations under the World Heritage Convention

September 2004 - Download PDF