Arafura and Timor Seas

Arafura and Timor Seas

The Region

The tropical waters of the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) are defined as a ‘semi-enclosed sea’ under Article 122 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and include the waters of 4 littoral nations – Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.  Significantly, the living coastal and marine resources of the ATS are rich and vital to the livelihoods of the subsistence coastal and indigenous communities in the region, particularly in Timor-Leste and Indonesia, who face among the highest levels of poverty and food insecurity in the world.

Our Role

Charles Darwin University has a strong commitment and a long history of engagement and training in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, including partnerships in collaborative coastal and marine research. Over the past decade this has included providing support and technical assistance with major regional programs such as the former Arafura and Timor Seas Experts Forum (ATSEF) and the Arafura Timor Seas Action (ATSEA) program.

A full outline of the ATSEA program, activities, outputs and reports can be found at:

Below are some of the major projects, reports and technical assistance provided: 

ATSEF Reports