Best practice

The following table provides a summary of the best practice responses for managing the impacts of vessels on the marine environment.

Potential Environmental Effects

Best Practice Response

Biosecurity Risks

  • Exchange ballast water in mid ocean or operate a type-approved ballast water management system
  • Install an antifouling system that is designed for the ship’s operating profile, to maintain the ship in a clean state throughout its docking cycle
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the antifouling system for niche areas (such as sea chests, bow thrusters, propeller shafts and intake gratings) of a ship


  • The design and construction of ships and operational procedures should aim to prevent oil and other hazardous substances being discharged into the marine environment
  • The routes for vessels transporting oil and other hazardous substances should avoid marine areas with high ecological values including marine reserves
  • The discharge of oily waste into the marine area in sensitive environments including estuaries, harbours and sheltered coastal areas should be avoided
  • Up-to-date oil spill contingency plans should be in place
  • The discharge of untreated sewage into harbours and near marine farms and marine protected areas should be avoided
  • Recreational vessels with seawater flushing toilets should have holding tanks installed
  • Avoiding washing or scrubbing boats on the foreshore or intertidal area
  • Provide sealed boat haul-out areas where discharges can be contained
  • Use more environmentally-friendly compounds in antifouling paint
  • Use land-based disposal of on-board generated where possible
  • Avoid the disposal of contaminated waste into the marine environment

Harm to marine animals and birds

  • Where possible, redirect shipping routes away from marine mammal habitat
  • Reduce ships speed in areas where marine mammals are likely to be present to less than 10 knots
  • Reduce the speed of vessels in areas susceptible to ecological impacts

Shoreline Erosion

  • Reduce the speed of vessels in areas susceptible to wake-induced coastal erosion

Greenhouse Gas

  • Investigate alternative options for powering of vessels, both while at sea and shoreside

Last updated at 2:11PM on February 25, 2015