Australia is developing a national Sustainable Ocean Plan. The plan will protect our marine environment and support our growing ocean economy.
Australia’s ‘blue economy’ generates more than $118 billion each year and supports 462,000 jobs. For example:
- Offshore energy industry powers Australian communities and supports Australia’s transition to renewables.
- Fishery and aquaculture industries provide crucial food security.
- Ships transport the vast bulk of goods that come into and leave Australia.
- Marine recreation and tourism industries attract millions of visitors.
Ocean industries rely on a thriving, resilient ocean and in turn can support ocean-based solutions to climate change.
The State of the environment report 2021 highlighted our ocean and coasts face many significant pressures. To sustain our ocean economy and national wellbeing, we must ensure our ocean remains healthy and productive.
A Sustainable Ocean Plan provides the opportunity to consider how Australia will manage our ocean in the future. We are working across governments, industry, research, conservation and communities. This will help identify a shared vision to guide our collective efforts.
Delivering a long-term vision
Australia is committed to developing a Sustainable Ocean Plan as a member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.
The plan will support equitable use of our ocean and its resources. It is being developed in close collaboration with:
- state and territory governments
- First Nations peoples
- marine sectors and industries
- non-government organisations
- scientists and researchers
- other ocean stakeholders.
The plan will cover Australia’s ocean, from our coastline out to 200 nautical miles, including external territories.
Consultation to inform the plan’s development has begun and will continue through 2023 and 2024.
Sustainable Ocean Plan key milestones
High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy
The Ocean Panel is a unique global initiative made up of 18 world leaders. It works to transition the world to a sustainable ocean economy that protects, produces and prospers. Australia’s Prime Minister is Australia’s member on the panel.
Globally, the Ocean Panel members represent 44% of exclusive economic zones and 50% of coastlines.
In 2020, the Ocean Panel launched its transformations framework – a set of recommendations for how the world can rapidly transition to a sustainable ocean economy. It seeks commitment to ensuring 100% of the ocean under national jurisdiction is sustainably managed by 2025. This will be guided by national sustainable ocean plans.
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