Managing Australia's Marine Jurisdictions


Australia's marine jurisdiction is large, 1.8 times the size of Australia's land mass and 4 per cent of the global oceans. With increasing global demand for energy, food and security, activity within the marine jurisdiction is becoming increasingly important to the Australian economy. Effective and efficient management of the marine environment relies on baseline mapping, characterisation of marine resources and assets, and the ability to measure change over time.

Our Role

Develop new, national-scale products and coordinate national seabed mapping activities to establish an accessible national collection of marine geoscience data to leverage Australia's vast data holdings.

Desired outcomes

  • Australia's seabed is mapped and characterised in sufficient detail to provide a robust evidence-base for the sustainable management and use of its marine assets.

Work Activities and Capability

Marine Jurisdiction and Coastal Zone

Geoscience Australia undertakes sea floor mapping and acquires geological and environmental data to inform marine planning and the sustainable development, management and use of Australia's marine assets.

Geoscience Australia's work will deliver advances in marine environmental baselines and improve the knowledge of Australia's marine environments, including in Australia's Antarctic Territories. In particular, it will deliver an integrated, national approach to bathymetric and marine data capture and storage, and provide national leadership and capacity building through partnering with Commonwealth, state and territory entities, universities and industry. This will provide an evidence-base to inform the sustainable management of Australia's marine and coastal zone assets.

Strategic Priorities and Performance Criteria

Geoscience Australia's work program is delivered through six key strategic priority areas. Each priority area outlines the role of the organisation, the desired outcomes to be achieved, and the core work activities and capabilities.

Geoscience Australia's performance will be assessed using a number of qualitative and quantitative measures to communicate a comprehensive view of performance that will be presented in the organisation's annual performance statement. Performance measures will include assessment against key work deliverables, key performance indicators and case studies.

Deliverables 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Marine Jurisdiction and Coastal Zone        
Deliver and maintain the AusSeabed web portal for seabed environmental data in collaboration with Commonwealth, state and territory entities, universities and industry
Develop and deliver national marine geoscience datasets to support the management of Australia's marine assets
Provide information and advice to support policy in Australia's marine jurisdiction under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980
Deliver collaborative projects with partners of the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Program, Marine Biodiversity Hub, to support management of the Commonwealth marine area  
Implement a shallow-water seafloor mapping program in high-use near-shore regions adjacent to the three Australian Antarctic research stations, Casey, Davis and Mawson, in collaboration with the Australian Antarctic Division and Royal Australian Navy    
Key Performance Indicators 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Availability of new marine and coastal bathymetry data via Geoscience Australia's website within six months of being compliant with data standards 100% 100% 100% 100%