The Arafura and Timor seas, which are shared by Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste, border the southern edge of the Coral Triangle, and lie at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Both are part of an area designated the North Australian Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (LME), which supports coral reefs, fish populations, a quarter of the world’s mangroves, seagrass beds, large marine fauna, and shorebirds and seabirds. These ecosystems provide important ecosystem services for the surrounding communities, and for the wider world.
In recent decades, these seas have come under pressure from habitat loss, overfishing, and climate change. Further pressure is expected due to the presence of marine resources such as oil and natural gas. Regional transboundary management is needed to ensure the protected of economically and ecologically important resources.
The Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action (ATSEA) Programme was launched in 2010. For more information, visit https://atsea-program.com/.