Remaining impacts from fishing

The Great Barrier Reef supports commercial, recreational, Indigenous and charter fishing, targeting a range of species including fish, sharks, crabs and prawns.

Fishing is the principal extractive use of the Great Barrier Reef. Management of fishing and its environmental impacts is shared between the Australian and Queensland Governments.

Viable commercial and charter fishing industries depend on a healthy ecosystem as a source of seafood just as Queenslanders rely on a healthy reef for recreation. Traditional Owners too are keen to ensure this culturally important resource remains healthy.

There are ten major commercial fisheries in the Great Barrier Reef Region. The main commercial sectors are net, trawl, line and pot fisheries. Commercial fishing is important to both domestic and international markets.

Recreational fishing is an open access fishery, taking an estimated six million fish in 2007. The Great Barrier Reef offers many exciting and different fishing opportunities. This popular recreational pastime allows people to spend time on the water with family and friends and to get in touch with the natural world.

As well as observing fishing regulations, it is important that those who fish adopt responsible fishing practices while out on the water. These practices help to protect the natural environment, maintain the ecological balance of the Reef and contribute to improving its general health.

  • 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.