Coastal Waters is a belt of water between the limits of the Australian States and the Northern Territory and a line 3M seaward of the territorial sea baseline*. Jurisdiction over the water column and the subjacent seabed is vested in the adjacent State or Territory as if the area formed part of that State or Territory. This, and other arrangements for the management of offshore resources such as fisheries and petroleum, are defined by the Offshore Constitutional Settlement (OCS). The principal legislation implementing the OCS (Coastal Water (State Powers) Act 1980, Coastal Waters (State Title) Act 1980, Coastal Waters (Northern Territory Powers) Act 1980 and the Coastal Waters (Northern Territory Title) Act 1980) entered into force in January 1982 and February 1983.
* The TSB used to determine Coastal Waters does not include low tide elevations greater than 3M from the coastline or islands.