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Recreational and leisure craft as well as fishing vessels also have a role in protecting the marine environment

Pollution prevention regulations also apply to the skippers of recreational vessels, leisure craft and fishing vessels (depending on their size). These regulations are similar to those for larger commercial ships but have been changed to suit smaller craft. Like the larger vessels, small craft must not cause pollution by releasing oil, garbage and sewage into the sea.

Oil spillage is one of the most common causes of pollution by these vessels. This often happens during refueling because not enough care is taken during this risky operation. Another big problem for the marine environment is the large quantity of plastic bags and other garbage thrown into the sea from small vessels.

These small vessels are also not allowed to enter environmentally sensitive areas called Marine Protected Areas. More of these areas are being introduced around the Australian coastline by State and Territory governments to protect the marine environment and the plants and animals that live in these areas.

The laws applying to recreational and fishing vessels are administered by State and Territory governments. When the regulations are broken, the governments will impose severe fines on owners and skippers of these smaller vessels.

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