Fish feeding

Feeding fish (other than sharks) is a way in which visitors can view and get closer to large schools of fish, but fish feeding must be carried out with care.

Are there any rules?

If you are permitted to conduct fish feeding as an activity then the following conditions will apply.

  • Operate no more than one fish feeding station at each location;
  • Use fresh, raw marine products and/or manufactured aquaculture fish food pellets, provided those manufactured pellets are approved in writing by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority;
  • Use no more than 1kg of food per day or, where fish feeding is carried out at more than one feeding station, 2kg per day;
  • Only staff may feed the fish, and they must not feed them directly by hand;
  • Give participants in the program practical and adequate warning of the potential dangers of fish feeding; and
  • Display a copy of the fish feeding guidelines at the fish feeding station.

What do the conditions achieve?

Following these conditions will help ensure that:

  • Fish are fed appropriate and healthy food, and are not overfed;
  • Fish do not begin to rely on fish feeding as a food source;
  • The numbers of fish and other animals in an area remain at natural levels;
  • The waters around tourism sites remain clean and healthy; and
  • Visitors continue to have a safe visit to the Great Barrier Reef.

Can I do more?

You are encouraged to avoid feeding fish where swimmers and snorkellers are in the water, and where people are fishing. There is also a set of responsible reef practices for fish feeding.