Illegal moorings damage the Marine Park

Published: 14/05/2012

Four illegal moorings at Opal Reef in Far North Queensland will be removed to prevent environmental harm to the surrounding Great Barrier Reef ecosystem.

It follows reports by tour operators in the area concerned about the localised damage the moorings caused.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Field Management Acting Director Richard Quincey said the Reef's health was compromised when moorings were not installed or maintained correctly.

"We strongly encourage the use of legal moorings within the Marine Park as a way to minimise anchor damage and use the Reef safely and sustainably," he said.

"Unfortunately there are cases where moorings are installed without a permit or aren’t regularly maintained.

"This can cause localised damage to the Reef and make the mooring unsafe.

"All moorings in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park must have a permit and are required to be maintained annually to ensure the safety and integrity of the mooring."

The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) Executive Officer Col McKenzie said the tourism industry supported and encouraged the use of legal moorings in the Marine Park.

"Using permitted moorings is not only the safest option for tour operators and tourists, but it also keeps the Reef healthy and attractive for visitors," he said.

"All Reef users play a part in ensuring the Reef is used sustainably, and I encourage all tour operators to maintain current and compliant moorings."

GBRMPA and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) field management officers will remove the moorings at Opal Reef if the owners of the moorings fail to contact QPWS by Friday 8 June 2012 to arrange removal.

To find out more regarding the Order to Remove at Opal Reef go to

To report unpermitted or non-compliant moorings phone 07 4726 0588 or fill out an online Incident Report form at

Name: GBRMPA media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846