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Ocean Areas (UXO in the Marine Environment)


Around Australia, there are a number of offshore sites where ammunition and explosives have been dumped, or which have been used as live bombing or firing ranges. Notification and management of and the right to control access to such sites are complex legal issues.

For the purpose of identification and management, areas identified as having UXO potential which are entirely in the ocean (including coastal waters) are sub-divided into two categories:

Operational

These areas have been used for military activities, either on the surface or in the air above the ocean and may have resulted in potential UXO being present on the sea-bed. They are categorised in accordance with the same principles as their land counterparts.

These areas may include seaward firing shore batteries, buffer zones around air to ground bombing targets and air to air combat ranges.

Advice: There are no restrictions to surface maritime activities in these areas. Activities that will disturb the seabed should be subject to the same advice as their land counterparts.

Disposal (Sea Dumping)

These areas have been identified as having been used for historical sea-dumping of waste material which may include explosive ordnance. These sites are generally marked on charts and published in Notice to Mariners along with the appropriate advice.

Advice: There are no restrictions to surface maritime activities in these areas. Any activity that will disturb the sea bed such as anchoring, trawling and dredging are prohibited in these areas.

Further information on known sea dumping areas can be found in the following resources: