As discussed in Chapter 6: Marine environment, the Australian marine environment is experiencing a broad range of pressures that affect the quality of the habitats, species and environmental health. The main pressures are in coastal areas and particularly in sheltered enclosed bays, estuaries and lagoons, where flushing of land-based sources of pollution and wastes is most limited. Present-day pressures are interacting with the effects of past activities. In the case of fishing and coastal development, while today’s management practices are much improved, a number of ecosystems, habitats and species have been heavily impacted in previous centuries and will continue in their degraded condition under current management policies and practices. Exploitation of marine resources has overtaken waste disposal as the major source of impacts in the world’s oceans.