Western Australia has the longest and most remote coastline in Australia. It is home to a wide range of marine ecosystems. It is therefore important that Western Australia’s coastal and marine areas are managed effectively to preserve their unique environmental values. However, recent years have seen industrial development, tourism, overfishing and coastal urbanisation inflict an increasingly adverse impact on the marine environment.

The marine environment includes estuaries, mangrove swamps, the coastal zone, oceans, seas and other major water bodies. A number of State and Commonwealth laws exist to protect and prevent harm to this environment. This fact sheet examines the laws that control some of the common and serious marine pollutants such as industrial waste, antifouling paints, ballast water and oil spills.