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As an island continent Australia is heavily dependent upon sea-borne trade. Our economy, shipping industry, ports and harbours all benefit from the maritime activity. However, high volumes of shipping also bring the risk of pollution and maritime incidents. In addition to the economic importance of the maritime domain, it has a significant place in the national psyche. Australians share a deep affinity for the marine environment, the coastal areas and the iconic beaches. The need to regulate commercial activity within the maritime domain, to ensure the active participation of recreational anglers and access to beach areas by the public and to preserve the environmental values has assumed increased importance in the last decade. Issues such as whaling in the Southern Ocean, maritime pollution incidents such as the Pacific Adventure (2009) and the forecast impacts of climate change demand a re-evaluation of Australian coastal and marine law. The Australian legal framework depends upon two regimes - the international legal regime founded principally upon the law of the sea and a complex national regime in which the Commonwealth, states and territories and local authorities share responsibility for governance. This book provides a comprehensive outline of the international and legal framework and then presents the law in a number of individually themed chapters. In doing so the editors have drawn upon the expertise of scholars and practitioners in a range of specialist areas.