Environment Policy Statement

Darwin Port (DP) manages aspects and operates within the Port of Darwin. DP recognises the environmental, social and economic importance of operating in an environmentally sustainable and responsible manner.

Download the full Environment Policy Statement

Natural Environment

Mangroves - Much of Darwin Harbour is characterised by mangrove forest lining the tidal boundaries and growing in fine sediments, with 36 species of mangrove covering more than 26,000 hectare.

Fauna / Marine Fauna - Three species of dolphin (Australian snubfin, Australian humpback and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose) and the dugong are commonly encountered within the Darwin Harbour region. Six species of sea turtle occur within the Darwin Harbour area including the Flatback Turtle (Natator depressus) and Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). The Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) also inhabits the harbour, though is actively removed from the Harbour as part of a crocodile management program. The harbour supports endemic and migratory birds, including snipe, godwit, curlew and sandpiper species. Many of the shorebirds that visit the mudflats are migratory species protected by the Japan Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA) and the China Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA). A 12 hectare pond at East Arm Wharf has been protected as migratory bird habitat and is frequented by the critically endangered Eastern Curlew.

Tides - Darwin Harbour has a high tidal range with a maximum range of around 8 metres. The large tidal movement produces strong currents. Two high tides and two low tides are experienced daily and the tidal range fluctuates over a lunar cycle. 

Environmental Management Plan (EMP)

Darwin Port has prepared an EMP that sets environmental standards to be adhereed to at our facilities. It provides environmental information, targets and management strategies to prevent adverse impacts to the environment. Click here to view the Darwin Port Environment Management Plan

Minimum Environmental Expectations

Minimum Environmental Expectations

Environmental Management System (EMS)

Our EMS is a management system that covers all environmental aspects of the Port. It includes an Environmental Policy, Aspects and Impacts Register, Procedures, Objectives and Targets, Legal Register, Auditing, Plans and other components. The EMS is certified in accordance with ISO 14001:2015

Port Environment Protection Plan (PEPP)

The PEPP was developed as required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (Commonwealth) approval for the expansion of the EAW and approved by the Commonwealth Minister for Environment.The PEPP sets requirements for marine fauna vessel strikes, large vessel speed restrictions, oil spill, marine pests prevention and environmental awareness.

Marine Oil Spill

Darwin Port manages marine oil spills in Darwin Harbour in accordance with the Darwin Port Oil Spill Contingency Plan. The Northern Territory Government manages Oil Spills in Darwin Harbour and across the territory in accordance with the Northern Territory Oil Spill Contingency Plan. Marine Oil Spills are to be reported to the NT EPA on their Pollution Hotline (1800 064 567) and to Darwin Port.

Environmental Monitoring

Darwin Port conducts an environmental sampling and analysis program to monitor the health of our facilities and surrounds.Early detection of emerging issues will enable actions to be implemented and environmental impact to be avoided or minimised. Physical, chemical or biological properties of the following are monitored:

  • Sea water.
  • Marine sediment.
  • Air quality.
  • Fauna and flora.
  • Trade waste / sewage.
  • Energy consumption / greenhouse emissions.

Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act Approval (EPBC)

The East Arm Wharf expasion project commenced in 2010 for the development of a Marine Supply Base, Common User Barge Ramp and Tug Boat Berths.The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (Commonwealth) approval set a number of conditions for construction and as ongoing requirements including the 12 hectare Pond at East Arm Wharf that has been protected for migratory shore bird habitat.(Port Development).

External Notifications 

Injured marine animals - Marine Wild Watch
Phone: 1800 453 941

Pollution - NT EPA 
Pollution Hotline 1800 064 567

Croc Hotline 0419 822 859 or (08) 8983 2475

Marine Pests
Fishwatch 24-hour hotline 1800 891 136

External Links

Wave and Weather Buoy 
Australian Institute of Marine Science

Shipwrecks Heritage sites - Australian National Shipwreck Database 

Endangered Species 
Department of Environment and Energy

EPBC Act Project Referrals

(Referal Number: 2010/5304, Title: DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND INFRASTRUCTURE - MAJOR PROJECTS UNIT/Manufacturing/Darwin Harbour/Northern Territory/East Arm Wharf Expansion Works, Date: 8/01/2010)