United Nations
Threat abatement plan for the impacts of marine debris on vertebrate marine life
by Department of the Environment and Energy (Government)
In August 2003, Injury and fatality to vertebrate marine life caused by ingestion of, or entanglement in, harmful marine debris was listed as a key threatening process under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. A threat abatement plan was prepared in 2009 to address the key threatening process, with the primary focus of addressing the impact of entanglement and ingestion of marine debris on vertebrate marine life. Australia is updating the threat abatement plan, incorporating new actions needed to abate the listed key threatening process.

The plan provides national guidance on specific action to prevent and mitigate the impacts of harmful marine debris on vertebrate marine life, through six major objectives:

Contribute to the long-term prevention of the incidence of marine debris
Identify key species, ecological communities, ecosystems and locations impacted by marine debris for priority action.
Conduct research to understand and mitigate the impacts of marine microplastic and plastic debris on marine species and ecological communities.
Remove existing marine debris
Monitor the quantities, origins, types and hazardous chemical contaminants of marine debris, and assess the effectiveness of management arrangements over time for reducing marine debris.
Increase public understanding of the causes and impacts of harmful marine debris, including microplastics and hazardous chemical contaminants in order to generate behaviour change.

The Australian Government is responsible for implementing actions that are its direct responsibility, and will look to guide the implementation of actions where other groups lead.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): Marine Debris
May 2017
Threat abatement plan for the impacts of marine debris on vertebrate marine life
Staff / Technical expertise
Policy Document
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 May - 2018 January
Australia Government
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
  • South Pacific
  • Southern Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Veronica Blazely, Director, Environmental Biosecurity Section, Department of the Environment and Energy, Veronica.Blazely@environment.gov.au, +61 2 6274 2255
Canberra, Australia
Other SDGs
United Nations