Australia's marine regions

The Water Quality Guidelines provide high-level guidance on the management context, ecological descriptions, biological indicator selection and other advice for five of Australia’s six marine planning regions as well as for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (which represents the inshore portion of the Coral Sea Marine Region).

We derived physical and chemical stressor default guideline values (DGVs) for marine water on a finer scale, using Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA 4.0) mesoscale bioregions.

Find guidance for your marine region

Select your relevant marine region from the Downloads below.

Map of marine planning regions


More information on Australia’s marine regions

The Australian Government’s marine bioregion planning process defined 6 marine regions for Australia’s marine and coastal environments.

A marine bioregional plan has been developed for each region that describes its marine environment and conservation values, sets out broad biodiversity objectives, identifies regional priorities and outlines strategies and actions to address these priorities.

In addition to the marine bioregional plans, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority provides DGVs and guidance for the Great Barrier Marine Park, including links to Queensland water quality legislation.


Hale, J, Butcher, R, Collier, K & Snelder, T 2012, ANZECC/ARMCANZ Water Quality Guidelines Revision: Ecoregionalisation and Ecosystem Types in Australian and New Zealand Marine, Coastal and Inland Water Systems, report prepared for the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.

SEWPaC 2012, Marine Bioregional Plan for the North Marine Region, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.

Last modified: