Threats to the Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is a natural treasure and one of the world's best managed marine areas — overall, the system retains its outstanding universal value.
- Climate change
- Poor water quality from land-based run-off
- Impacts from coastal development
- Illegal fishing
The northern third of the Great Barrier Reef Reef has good water quality and its ecosystem is in good condition.
In contrast, key habitats, species and ecosystem processes in central and southern inshore areas have continued to deteriorate from the cumulative effects of impacts.
The Reef is facing a range of threats over time, scale and duration — the accumulation of all impacts on the Reef has the potential to further weaken its resilience.
This is likely to affect its ability to recover from serious disturbance, such as major coral bleaching events, which are predicted to become more frequent in the future.
Addressing key threats
The Australian and Queensland governments' Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan provides an overarching framework for protecting the Reef.
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.
We're delighted to celebrate the 40 years of the managing the Great Barrier Reef.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing animals, plants, and habitats.
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.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.
Current Conditions: Environmental and climatic forecasts for the Great Barrier Reef