Managing multiple uses

Starting with the Traditional Owners thousands of years ago, the Great Barrier Reef has long been an important resource and a valued place for people to visit, share and enjoy.

For more than 30 years, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has been a multiple use area, providing protection, ecologically sustainable use, understanding and enjoyment.

In managing the ecosystem, environmental, economic and social benefits and impacts are all considered in pursuing the best outcomes for both the Great Barrier Reef and the community.

The Great Barrier Reef supports significant commercial industries, especially commercial marine tourism and fishing and supports employment equal to over 54,000 full-time positions.

At the same time, shipping activity through the Great Barrier Reef is a vital link in the production chain for many industries and services regional centres.

Importantly, use of the Great Barrier Reef Region goes well beyond commercial activities.

It is central to the culture of Traditional Owners, a major recreational area, an internationally important scientific resource and an important area for Defence training.

Oil drilling, mining and exploration have been prohibited in the Great Barrier Reef Region since proclamation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act in 1975.

The Great Barrier Reef is valued by millions of people in Australia and around the world simply because it exists, even if they may never have the opportunity to visit it or derive an income from it.

  • Free zoning app

    Zoning maps

    If you're heading out on the water, download and use the free zoning app so you know where you can go and what you can do.

  • Important milestone

    40 years anniversary

    We're delighted to celebrate the 40 years of the managing the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Visit the Reef

    fish on reef

    Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing animals, plants, and habitats.

  • What you can do

    purple coral

    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


    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.