One of the many thrills a Reef visit brings comes from discovering its remarkable, unique animal and plant life.
Many visitors may want to collect a memento of their unforgettable trip but they could be pocketing a creature’s ‘home’ or, in worst cases, taking a live animal from its neighbourhood.
As one of the Reef’s protectors, your help is needed to inspire your clients to leave behind nature's treasures for others to enjoy. Please encourage your clients to collect memories and take photos rather than these limited edition natural ‘trophies’.
Responsible Reef Practices
- Encourage your clients to 'look but don't touch' and to leave the plants and animals in their natural environment.
- Provide on-site interpretation and species identification.
- For clients who want to collect, brief them about:
- The correct collecting limits and the zones where they may collect
- Taking only what they need
- Collecting dead shells only
- Checking the shells for live animals that may be living on or inside them (if there are any, return the shells to where they were found).
Marine Parks Legal Requirements
- You must not damage, collect or otherwise ‘take’ or 'possess' coral, including dead coral, and 'take' protected shell species (that is giant triton shell, helmet shell, giant clam) in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park unless you have a Marine Parks permit.
- You can only 'take' or 'possess' five specimens of each restricted species at a time in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Note: ‘Take’ includes removing, gathering, killing or interfering with, or attempting to take. 'Possess' means to have custody or control of. There may be special arrangements for Traditional Owners.
- You must abide by the collecting requirements in the Zoning Plan:
- Collecting is allowed in General Use Zone (light blue), Habitat Protection Zone (dark blue) and Conservation Park Zone (yellow). Limits on number and frequency apply
- Collecting is not allowed in the Buffer Zone (olive green), Scientific Research Zone (orange), Marine National Park Zone (green) or Preservation Zone (pink).
- You must not collect within the No Anchoring Areas at Bait Reef and Manta Ray Bay in the Whitsunday Planning Area.
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.
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