Message from the Chairman

image of Russell Reichelt

Our fundamental obligation is to protect the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the World Heritage Area.

We do this by striving to ensure all human uses of the Park are ecologically sustainable and that the ecosystem's natural functions, especially resilience, are maintained. The Reef is a phenomenal wonder and presenting its natural values to the world through industry and public uses is an important and positive part of this presentation.

Sustainable tourism on the Great Barrier Reef is especially important as a way of presenting the Reef to the world.

In the three decades since the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was created there have been many changes. The number of visitors to the region has steadily escalated, as has the number of people living and working along the coastal region.

We have seen waves of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks, highly destructive cyclones and, probably the most concerning, a rise in the frequency and extent of coral bleaching caused by increasing peak summer temperatures.

We do much of our job through partnerships. We link to public communities through our local marine advisory committees, Reef Guardian programs and publications. The Queensland Government is a key partner in delivering the operational management of the Marine Park through its environment and fisheries portfolios. The head of the Queensland Premier's Department is a member of the Marine Park Authority Board.

We operate cooperatively and are closely linked with other important Australian Government departments and agencies. We are grateful for the support and advice we receive from the industry peak bodies, especially in tourism and fisheries, and the Reef Advisory Committees working on critical issues. We also value the cooperative relationships with the scientific research community.

The increasing level of use and development in and adjacent to the Marine Park and World Heritage Area are demanding special attention. Strong policies need to be put in place to ensure that natural, cultural and social values are adequately maintained while supporting sustainable use and long-term protection. In the case of conflicting uses, or restrictions on incremental change in use, we recommend limits to the uses of the Marine Park.

Key issues for the Reef now are the effects of climate change and declining water quality, commercial and recreational fishing pressures, ports and shipping and coastal development. Our challenge is to assess, advise on, and implement policies to ensure the cumulative effects of all these issues are not leading towards a long-term decline in the environmental quality of the Great Barrier Reef.

Russell Reichelt
Chairman and Chief Executive

  • Free Zoning Maps

    Zoning maps

    If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.

  • Whale of a time

    World heritage

    The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.

  • Important milestone

    Safe distance

    We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.

  • Visit the Reef

    Tourism experiences

    Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.

  • What you can do

    What you can do

    Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.

  • Report marine strandings

    turtle swimming under water

    If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
    (1300 264 625)

  • Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef

    Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef vulnerability assessment cover image

    A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Current Conditions

    Current Conditions logo promo image

    Current Conditions: Environmental and climatic forecasts for the Great Barrier Reef

  • Reef Guardians Improving the outlook

    Underwater image of yellow fish swiming around coral

    The Great Barrie Reef is facing some challenges. Many people, including Reef Guardians, are making a difference. View the commercial.

  • Reef Guardian Grazier

    Grazier standing next to Ute with sheepdog on the back

    Reef Guardian graziers are helping to protect the Great Barrier reef through better farming practices.Watch the commercial.

  • Reef Guardian Banana Farmer

    Banana Famer riding four wheeler

    Reef Guardian farmers are undertaking on-farm practices that are helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Watch the commercial.

  • Reef Guardian Cane Farmer

    Cane farmer, wife and daughter standing next to cane fields

    Reef Guardian farmers are forward-thinking producers who are doing their bit for the Reef. Watch the commercial.

  • Reef Guardian Fisher

    Fishing family and staff posing for photo on fishing boat

    Reef Guardian fishers are fishing sustainably for the health of the Reef and their fishery. Watch the commercial.

  • Reef Guardian Marine Aquarium Collector

    Corral Collector standing next to a fishtank in the shop

    Coral Collectors hand pick corals from various locations to minimise impact and help The Great Barrier Reef. Watch the commercial.

  • Reef Guardian Council

    Reef Guardian Council Burdekin staff planting vegitation

    Reef Guardian councils across the Great Barrier Reef catchment are demonstrating Reef protection and management. Watch the commercial.

  • Reef Guardian School

    Reef Guardian school group standing in the shade of some trees

    Reef Guardian schools across Queensland are taking positive action for the environment. Watch the commercial.