Arafura Sea and Timor Sea are known to have high abundance of fisheries resources as well as rich in marine biodiversities. To manage its vast resources, it requires close cooperation between littoral nations surrounding the ocean, such as Australia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea. Realizing the uniqueness of the area and its importance to the local communities, Arafura Sea and Timor Sea Expert Forum (referred to as ATSEF) was established with a clear objective to assist the stakeholders who depend upon the Arafura and Timor Seas in achieving the goals of sustainable development to support their livelihood.
The Arafura and Timor Seas Experts Forum is open to, and encourages participation from, agencies and individuals within the littoral nations and from international organizations, who are willing to advance the purpose of the Forum. It is a commitment to achieve sustainable management and use of Arafura and Timor Seas’ resource and conducting scientific research necessary for achieving this goal by cooperation between coastal state of Arafura and Timor Seas
ATSEF has provided a focus for Arafura and Timor Seas Coastal States to the regional effort concerning the sustainable development of Arafura-Timor marine resources. ATSEF provides an opportunity of implementing the appropriate action plan, and discuss opportunities for concrete regional actions to implement its objective. ATSEF could explore the potential of economic and technical cooperation for sustainability of the Arafura and Timor marine environment and resources. With the international effort, it is responsibility of ATSEF members to promote and support the fulfillment of this objective. The ATSEF will play an active role in promoting various projects and workshops directly and indirectly supports progress on sustainable fisheries and marine environment issues.