Arafura and Timor Seas Sub Global Assessment
The Arafura and Timor Seas are contiguous, semi-enclosed seas bordered by
Indonesia and Timor-Leste to the north, Papau New Guinea to the west and
Australia to the south. The Pacific flows into the Arafura & Timor seas
through the Torres Strait.
Arafura and Timor Seas Forum (ATSEF) is a non-binding Forum for collaboration
between Indonesia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Australia for the
sustainable use of the living resources of the Arafura and Timor Seas.
Regional Coordinator – ATSEF
Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies
Australian National University
Canberra, ACT 0200
Phone: 61-2-6125 3037
Fax: 61-2-6125 4896
The Sub-global assessment focuses on four institutional, biophysical and system
Institutional: Impact of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in
the Arafura and Timor Seas.
Biophysical: Assessment of fish stocks, marine habitats and coastal and marine
System dynamics of the seas
Institutional Assessment of sustainable and/or alternative livelihoods for
coastal and indigenous communities.
Ecosystem services being assessed
Fish stocks, marine habitats, coastal and marine biodiversity, wetlands and
Key features of assessment area
These semi-enclosed seas are the global maximum for marine biodiversity. The
seas have a carbon sequestration capacity that markedly exceeds other marine
regions, despite containing the richest known hydrocarbon deposits. They are
among the few seas where stocks depletion has been minimal, though that status
is deteriorating rapidly. The near coast of much of the region consists of
wetlands/floodplains that are critical to migratory bird species. Despite this
abundance, fifty percent of the population of the coastal communities and the
littoral states live below the absolute poverty line.
CD of preliminary assessment due Dec 22, 2003.
Sub Global Assessment of the Arafura and Timor Seas due June 22, 2004