The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is the voice for Australia’s oceans.

We are Australia’s leading national charity dedicated solely to protecting our precious ocean wildlife – a community of ocean lovers across the nation working for healthy seas.

We are an independent charity, staffed by a committed group of scientists, educators and passionate advocates who have defended Australia’s oceans since 1965. Our paid and volunteer staff work every day to protect our coasts and oceans.

AMCS works on the big issues that risk our ocean wildlife. Together, we have protected critical ocean ecosystems with marine reserves around the nation, including Ningaloo and the Great Barrier Reef. We have led the movement to ban whaling, stopped supertrawlers, and protected threatened and endangered species like the Australian Sea Lion. Together, our community of ocean lovers save our oceans every day.

If you want to help ensure Australia’s coasts and oceans remain healthy and free for tomorrow’s generations, join us today.

Who are we?

The Australian Marine Conservation Society was formed in 1965 by a community of scientists and ocean conservationists who came together to take action to protect our marine life.

Together we advocate for real, evidence based solutions based on the best available science. We work closely with research centres across the globe, and employ conservation experts to drive our work safeguarding the future of Australia's amazing oceans.

Our History

Our oceans are in peril. Climate change is heating our oceans, and killing the coral homes of fish and turtles. Industrial scale fishing threatens the future of our fish stocks, and is killing our threatened and endangered animals - including dolphins, turtles and sharks. And every day, toxic plastic pollution flows into our oceans, choking our marine life.

Australians have a deep bond with our oceans. As inhabitants of the largest island on earth, it is our great privilege to grow up surrounded by an amazing diversity of life and colour.

It is this great love, and pride for our oceans, that drives us every day. Together, we are a community of caring ocean lovers who take action to speak up for the voiceless and fight for their future.

Our Campaigns

Our Vision: Thriving oceans for a healthy planet.

Our Mission: We are the guardians and voice for marine life. We connect people,
science and action to protect Australia’s extraordinary oceans.

Our Values:
Passion. We demonstrate commitment to and care for our oceans in all we do.
Integrity. We are trusted, credible, independent and ethical in our actions.
Courage. We are brave, respectful and honest advocates for marine life.
Solidarity. We work together; embracing equity, diversity and inclusivity.
Effectiveness. We are driven, professional, agile and resilient, working to deliver the best outcomes for Australia’s people and wildlife.
Innovation. We are creative, flexible, open and solutions focused

Our Strategic Plan

More About Us

Our History

The Australian Marine Conservation Society has been protecting our amazing oceans since 1965.

First Nations Voice to Parliament

We believe that the Voice is a moment for Australia to come together


AMCS is very reliant on our community of supporters - none of it is possible without you.

Who Funds Us?

AMCS is an independent charity receiving funds from individual donors, foundations and grants.

Key Achievements


> Browse Impacts

Prevented mining on the Great Barrier Reef

  • Known then as the Queensland Littoral Society, we contested and defeated a proposal to mine limestone on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in the 1960s. We went on to lead the public campaign to protect the Reef from mining and oil exploration.

Global ban on commercial whaling

  • AMCS helped spearhead this successful campaign in the 1980s, establishing a global ban on commercial whaling.
  • Since 2006, AMCS CEO Darren Kindleysides has played a significant role to advocate international legal action against Japanese whaling, which continued to operate via loopholes. AMCS has been there from the inception of the plan to instigate international legal action against the Japanese whalers operating in the Southern Ocean.
  • Working with governments, lawyers and scientists, we convinced our leaders to take Japan to international courts. In 2014,  the International Court of Justice ruled Japan’s whaling broke international law and must stop. The ruling was binding, however, Japan started a new whaling program in the Southern Ocean.
  • Japan tried to reignite commercial whaling through the International Whaling Commission. A strong NGO presence, including that of AMCS, meant that Japan’s motions did not pass. In December, 2018, Japan announced their departure from the IWC, meaning it would also withdraw its whaling fleet from the Southern Ocean.
  • So, after decades of anti-whaling campaigning, the AMCS community and Australians can celebrate the end of whaling in our Southern Oceans – it is a win for our whales!

Sustainable Seafood revolution

  • Launching our highly successful GoodFish: Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide in 2004 – for those who love the oceans and their seafood, AMCS revolutionised the way Australians view seafood and the fishing and fish farms that provide it. The guide is available in paperback, and as a dedicated consumer website and iPhone app which includes Greenpeace’s Canned Tuna Guide. More and more Australians are recognising their part in protecting our precious oceans by choosing their seafood responsibly.

Secured the Great Barrier Reef as a marine park

  • AMCS led and built the campaign, which eventually involved numerous groups, and secured the Reef through the declaration of the Marine Park in 1975 and later recognised it as a World Heritage Area in 1981.
  • Working with our conservation partners, AMCS secured the public support that led to full protection of 33.4% of the Reef in ‘green zones’ in 2004 and helped secure a profitable future for the Reef’s thriving ecotourism industry.

Historic Marine Parks and Sanctuary Zones

  • AMCS has played a key role in campaigns that led to the Australian government proposing the largest network of marine reserves in the world in June 2012, including the proposal to create the world’s largest marine reserve in the Coral Sea. But now these reserves are under threat. Help us Save Our Sanctuaries.
  • In collaboration with state based groups, we have helped secure marine parks across Victoria, in central NSW, across SA, parts of WA and Queensland. We’ve led campaigns to create a network of marine parks in the Northern Territory – with Limmen Bight, a haven for dugongs and other seagrass loving animals, declared as the NT’s first new marine reserve since the 1980s in July 2012.

Ningaloo Reef saved

  • Along with our Patron Tim Winton, AMCS and our allies protected Ningaloo Reef, WA (Australia’s largest fringing coral reef) from a major marina development. With overwhelming support from the public, we further succeeded in securing 34% of the Ningaloo Marine Park in green zones, and most recently World Heritage listing in 2011.

Moreton Bay protected

  • Our long track record of success in Moreton Bay includes stopping coral mining on Peel and Mud Island, banning sand mining on Moreton Island and advocating for its protection as a national park. More recently we worked with the community to increase the green zones from less than 1% to 16% protection in critical areas of coral, seagrass and rocky reefs.

Live shark finning banned in Australia

  • Thanks to us, live shark finning at sea is now illegal in all Australian states and the Northern Territory. The NT was the last Australian jurisdiction which allowed this cruel and wasteful fishing method, and our community campaign resulted in its ban in 2004. We continue to work towards a ban on the export and import of shark fins in Australia, to stop our involvement in this terrible trade.

Seacage fish farming stopped

  • Through seeding and empowering a local community group, Friends of Sceale Bay, AMCS protected sea lion colonies in South Australia from unsustainable sea cage aquaculture development. We have also contested unsustainable sea cage proposals in NSW and Queensland. We are working with industry to lessen the impact of fish farms on our precious oceans.

Australia’s first seabed mining moratorium and then permanent ban!

  • AMCS secured a three-year moratorium on seabed mining in Northern Territory waters in March 2012, the first Australian jurisdiction to stop this damaging activity. Fast forward to February 2021, AMCS celebrated securing a permanent seabed mining ban in the Northern Territory!

Marine Wildlife protected

  • We have reduced the amount of sharks that can be fished in the East Coast Inshore Finfish Fishery, protected all seahorses and relatives (33 species) in NSW waters, secured (endangered) grey nurse shark critical habitats in Queensland and saved turtles from fishing nets and crab pots. We’ve also worked with our partners to stop fisheries killing dolphins and sea lions off South Australia.

Mangrove protection

  • AMCS has helped government and industry value mangroves as critical nursery areas for fish and other wildlife. We have undertaken extensive littoral mangrove surveys that led to protection of important wetlands, including the World Heritage Kakadu National Park  in the NT and the Boondall Wetlands Reserve in Qld.

Stopped the Super Trawler

  • Time and time again we have turned back supertrawlers like the Geelong Star that would have threatened our oceans and our livelihood. We have secured changes to federal environmental laws enabling new, untried and destructive fishing methods, including the operation of the MV Margiris super trawler in Australian waters to be scientifically assessed and excluded.

Stopped Port Developments in Fitzroy Delta

  • We stopped proposed coal port developments near the mouth of the Fitzroy River south of Rockhampton and in the untouched region of Cape York in Far North Queensland. These fragile places are home to rare and unique sealife like snubfin dolphins and dugongs. Their homes were saved thanks to ocean lovers speaking out in their defence.