Managing impacts of training at sea

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is committed to ensuring that activities routinely conducted at sea are managed in a way that meets legislative obligations and community expectations. The Maritime Activities Environmental Management Plan (MA EMP) was developed to meet this commitment and is designed to cover all routine activities.

The MA EMP recognises that some key training areas are locations where a number of differing activities may be conducted simultaneously, or on a large scale. Separate planning handbooks have been developed for these areas to assist exercise planners in considering the environmental implications of activities in their area.

The MA EMP also recognises that the key to managing impacts is to manage individual activities as they occur. Real time management is facilitated by the use of procedure cards that deal with the conduct of a wide range of activities, such as the use of mid-frequency active sonar.

The RAN also uses several important training areas in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP). Land and sea-based exercises are regularly conducted in these training areas. Defence maintains close liaison with the GBRMP Authority to ensure activities are conducted in a manner consistent with park management plans and the Defence Environmental Policy.