How has the density of shipping through the Oceanic Shoals CMR changed over time?

Australia is the fifth largest user of shipping in the world with more than 11,000 vessels from 600 overseas ports visiting Australia's 65 major ports each year. About 98 per cent of Australia's exports are carried by ships. Understanding where shipping occurs over time is important because it can harm coastal and marine ecosystems and their inhabitants. This has led regulators to require management plans for shipping activity (for example, see BHP Billiton Turtle Management Plan).

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has been using a satellite based system for tracking vessel locations as often as every two seconds called AIS since 1999. These data are useful in real-time to prevent collisions. The data can also be assessed on a yearly basis to estimate the density of shipping traffic within Australian waters.

The interactive map below shows the density of shipping traffic within and beyond the Oceanic Shoals CMR in 2014. Click on the icon with four arrows at the top left of the map to see a full screen version. Then, you can choose to view each year of data from 1999 to 2014.

How to use the map

Full extent icon Click on this icon at the top left of the map to see a full screen version.
Zoom Icon Click on this icon also at the top left of the map to zoom in closer to (+) or further from (-) the map.

Click on the year of shipping data that you want to view in the list of overlay layers to the far left of the map. If a year of shipping data is already checked in the list, you'll need to click on it to turn it off.

The colours in the legend for a given year of shipping data represent the density of shipping observations over the year after the data was checked for errors.

You can also choose to see the Key Ecological Features in the Oceanic Shoals CMR by clicking on that layer in the list.