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Marine Safety

The Marine Safety Branch of the Department of Transport is responsible for marine safety and pollution regulation matters in the Northern Territory. The aim is to ensure boating is both safe and enjoyable. This is achieved through education, regulation and the sponsorship of facilities such as navigation aids.

The NT Marine Act and Regulations cover safe boating practices applicable to pleasure craft whilst commercial vessels are regulated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 with the Marine Safety Branch delivering services in the Territory as a delegate of AMSA.

Boating is a great part of the Territory lifestyle, but there's no need to take unnecessary risk - so Play Safe on our Waterways!!

Our beautiful harbour and extraordinary river systems provide some of the best fishing and recreational boating in the world, but we all need to follow safe boating practices too.

Download your copy of the Safety Guide for Pleasure Craft booklet and the publications

Recreational Regulatory Changes 

ABP information

In 2014, the NT Government in consultation with the Amateur Fishermen's Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT) and the NT Water Police released a discussion paper to the wider community and stakeholders proposing changes to the existing recreational vessel safety regulations. 

On review of the responses and feedback received the proposed regulatory changes were accepted with implementation commencing on 1 May 2015.

These regulatory changes benefit everyone as it is for the improved safety of all Territorians and visitors that use NT waterways, whether they are an owner, operator or passenger of a small vessel or swimming at the beach.

The recreational boating regulatory changes are:

  1. Introduction of Marine Infringement Notice Scheme (MINS)
  2. Fitting of Australian Builders Plate
  3. Mandatory registration of Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs)
  4. Modernisation of the current minimum safety gear requirements
  5. Simplifying the categories of waters in the NT 

To get up to date on these changes go to

Safely Boating in Lightning Storms

Boating when storms are approaching is a typical part of fishing in the wet season. However there are a few precautions that you can take to reduce the risk of lightning strikes harming yourself and your passengers. 

Remove all fishing rods from rod holders and place on the floor, stay as low to the floor as you can, wear your rubber thongs or shoes, seek shelter near the bank or coastline, secure your boat, make sure your scuppers and freeing ports are open or your bilge pump is working and wait the storm out. 

These precautions will help you survive the passing storm and ensure you can continue to catch your elusive fish.  

Want a Career in the Maritime Industry?

A career in the Maritime Industry is very broad and could include being the Captain of an International Ship, a Skipper of a Commercial Fishing Vessel, an Engineer keeping ships operational, a Naval Architect designing and building ships or an Hydrographer charting the sea floor.

For more information on any of these exciting career prospects please visit the website of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority or visit the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council website.