Dalhousie Law Journal


Australia, Canada, offshore, fishing, pollution, petroleum, ecosystems, Oceans Act, sustainability, marine


Challenges in ocean and coastal management are facing all coastal states of the world. including Australia and Canada. Overharvesting of fish stocks, increasing pressure from land-based sources of pollution, expanding offshore petroleum developments, and rising risks of ship-sourced pollution in fragile marine ecosystems have caused both countries to begin a process of reassessment and rethinking. In January 1997 Canada adopted a new Oceans Act, which called for the development of a National Oceans Management Strategy based on principles of sustainable development, precaution and integration, and a new national marine protected areas network. In December 1998, Australia released a National Oceans Policy which, in addition to highlighting oceans issues in need of attention, also proposed a national strategy for addressing these urgent questions.