Navy recommits on World Oceans Day

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), CPOCIS Simon Bagnall (photographer)

Topic(s): Environment

HMAS Choules sailling into the sunset during Operation RESOLUTE. (photo: CPOCIS Simon Bagnall)
HMAS Choules sailling into the sunset during Operation RESOLUTE.

Coinciding with World Oceans Day, Navy’s Maritime Services Bureau Environmental Services team reflected on Navy’s responsibility to help maintain the maritime environment.

Based in Garden Island, the Navy’s Environmental Services team has been riding the continuous improvement wave to ensure Navy adheres to environmental law, community expectations and environmental best practice.

Fleet Environmental Manager, Lieutenant Commander Ian Brown, said his team recently developed and published new procedures to assist units conduct activities whilst protecting the environment, maintaining Navy’s role as a responsible caretaker of oceans. 

“These procedures are part of the Navy’s dynamic Maritime Activities Environmental Management Plan,” Lieutenant Commander Brown said.

“The Plan aims to ensure good environmental practice is second nature when conducting our daily business.”

“The new procedures are broad in their environmental scope so as to reduce the risks to the ocean environment, including the species that live within it.” 

Procedures deal with a wide range of activities such as managing ship waste, including sewage, grey-water, oily waste and garbage. 

“We have also developed procedures to respond to stranded or injured marine animals, including alerting Government environmental authorities,” he said.

Navy has an intrinsic bond to the sea and plays a vital role in protecting the ocean, controlling illegal fishing, enforcing biosecurity measures and conducting hydrographic surveys. 

Illustrative of the stewardship responsibilities which Navy has to the world’s oceans and their resources, early in June HMAS Wollongong intercepted two foreign fishing vessels in waters off north Queensland for suspected illegal fishing in Australian waters.