Don't spoil the fun this Easter

Published: 19/07/2011

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) hopes holiday-makers are only greeted by the charms of the Easter Bunny this holiday period rather than a fine for illegal fishing in the Marine Park.

With a boost in patrols taking place in the Marine Park during this Easter break, the GBRMPA reminds those heading out on the water to grab a free zoning map.

GBRMPA Field Management Director Mick Bishop said it was a great time for local or visitors to take advantage of what the Reef had to offer and fishers and boaties should be mindful of the zoning rules.

"We encourage everyone heading out on the water to grab a free zoning map and not risk a fine for illegal fishing in areas where fishing isn’t allowed or is limited," he said.

"Using a GPS to determine your position relative to zoning boundaries is also a good tool to use. It is extremely easy and reliable."

Zoning maps are useful to keep on boats or in tackle boxes and should be checked regularly.

"Even people who go out on the water regularly should take time to brush up their knowledge of what they can and can’t do in particular areas," he said.

"Green Zones prohibit fishing and Yellow Zones also have limitations on fishing activities.

"Penalties apply for not following zoning rules so it is important people know where they can go and what they can do so they have a great day out on the water.

"Anyone other than commercial fishing dories can enter a Green Zone to anchor for boating, swimming and snorkelling, and travelling through a Green Zone with fish on board."

You can pick up a free zoning map from bait and tackle shops, visitor information centres, ship chandlers and Department of Environment and Resource Management and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol offices. Alternatively call the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on 1800 990 177 for a free map.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846