Duties, restrictions and existing uses

When is a marine consent required?

Marina development

The EEZ Act prohibits identified activities in the EEZ or CS unless the activity is permitted by regulations, authorised by a marine consent or an existing activity exemption applies. 59

The identified activities to which restrictions in the EEZ Act apply are: 60

  • The construction, placement, alteration, extension, removal, or demolition of a structure on or under the seabed;
  • The construction, placement, alteration, extension, removal, or demolition of a submarine pipeline on or under the seabed;
  • The placement, alteration, extension, or removal of a submarine cable on or from the seabed;
  • The removal of non-living natural material from the seabed or subsoil;
  • The disturbance of the seabed or subsoil in a manner that is likely to have an adverse effect on the seabed or subsoil;
  • The deposit of any thing or organism in, on, or under the seabed;
  • The destruction, damage, or disturbance of the seabed or subsoil in a manner that is likely to have an adverse effect on marine species or their habitat;
  • The construction, mooring or anchoring long-term, placement, alteration, extension, removal, or demolition of a structure or part of a structure;
  • The causing of vibrations (other than vibrations caused by the normal operation of a ship) in a manner that is likely to have an adverse effect on marine life; and
  • The causing of an explosion.

The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Amendment Act 2013 transfers powers to regulate discharges and dumping (excluding discharges from ships) which are currently regulated under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.  This transfer will take effect when regulations are made under the EEZ Act to classify discharge and dumping activities. 61  When the transfer takes effect the new provisions of the EEZ Act will:

  • Prohibit discharges of harmful substances into the sea or seabed, unless it is a permitted activity, authorised by a marine consent or an existing activity exemption applies 62
  • Impose a total prohibition on the dumping of radioactive, toxic or hazardous waste into the sea or seabed. 63
  • Prohibit dumping of other waste unless authorised by a marine consent, authorised by an emergency dumping consent, or in accordance with section 248 or 249 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994. 64
  • Regulate burial at sea. 65

General duty

All persons carrying out activities in the EEZ or CS also have a general duty to avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects of the activity on the environment as well as a duty to provide training, supervision, and resources to employees to ensure compliance with the EEZ Act. 66

  1. Section 23 Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012

  2. Section 20 Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012

  3. Section 20A Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012

  4. Sections 20B and 20C Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012

  5. Sections 20E and 20F Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012

  6. Section 20G Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012

  7. Section 20J Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012

  8. Section 25 Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012

Last updated at 1:04PM on December 18, 2014