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Environmental crime

Investigating serious or complex environmental crime that can harm the future of Australia's land & waters

Environmental crime

Environmental crime covers a wide range of Commonwealth offences, including:

  • environmental pollution, such as illegal waste disposal or oil dumping
  • illegal fishing
  • illegal trade in endangered species and plants.

Some environmental crime has links to transnational serious and organised crime. It can often go hand-in-hand with other offences, such as:

Australia is also a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This aims to ensure international trade in wild animals and plants doesn't threaten the survival of any species.

Our role in protecting the environment

We take a lead role in investigating serious or complex environmental crime. This includes offences that may have a significant impact on Australia's:

  • World Heritage sites
  • National Heritage sites
  • Commonwealth marine areas
  • wetlands of international importance
  • threatened and migratory species
  • nuclear activities (including uranium mining).

We work with state and territory governments to protect our unique land, animals and ecosystems, and enforce the law. If an environmental crime doesn't breach a Commonwealth law, then state and territory agencies would normally investigate.

We also work with other national bodies, including:

Australian Border Force

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Reporting environmental crime

If you suspect someone of committing an environmental crime, let us know by:

For suspected breaches of Australian environmental law: