While fish feeding gives our visitors an opportunity to observe some magnificent creatures up close, the activity must be carried out carefully. You must always have a permit to feed fish as part of your tourism operation and this permit will contain some very important requirements about how you go about the activity. Give careful consideration as to whether this activity should be conducted as it may affect natural behaviour of fish at your site.
By following these requirements and a few simple responsible practices there is less chance of changing fish behaviour. They are less likely to become aggressive, drive out smaller fish or become dangerous to swimmers. It also reduces their dependency on a food source that may not always be there or could make them tame and vulnerable to fishing.
Responsible Reef Practices
- Consider using alternative activities rather than fish feeding, such as guided fish identification activities from glass-bottom boats, submersible vessels, underwater observatories, or snorkel tours.
- Do not feed fish in areas where fishing occurs.
- Vary between multiple fish feeding stations to reduce changes to the natural behaviour of the fish at your site.
- Use less food than the permitted amount, to minimise the risk of overfeeding.
- Keep fish feeding away from people who are in the water.
- Do not hand feed fish.
- Never feed bread, cooked seafood and processed food to fish; you must use raw fish or prawns or approved fish pellets. Avoid imported products to minimise the risk of introducing disease. Look for pellets that contain the least phosphate.
- Tourism operators should undertake fish feeding activities in accordance with the fish feeding guidelines.
Marine Parks Legal Requirements
- You must have a Marine Parks permit to feed fish as part of your tourism operation. There are some specific permit requirements about fish feeding.
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