Remaining impacts from fishing

The Great Barrier Reef supports commercial, recreational, Indigenous and charter fishing, targeting a range of species including fish, sharks, crabs and prawns.

Fishing is the principal extractive use of the Great Barrier Reef. Management of fishing and its environmental impacts is shared between the Australian and Queensland Governments.

Viable commercial and charter fishing industries depend on a healthy ecosystem as a source of seafood just as Queenslanders rely on a healthy reef for recreation. Traditional Owners too are keen to ensure this culturally important resource remains healthy.

There are ten major commercial fisheries in the Great Barrier Reef Region. The main commercial sectors are net, trawl, line and pot fisheries. Commercial fishing is important to both domestic and international markets.

Recreational fishing is an open access fishery, taking an estimated six million fish in 2007. The Great Barrier Reef offers many exciting and different fishing opportunities. This popular recreational pastime allows people to spend time on the water with family and friends and to get in touch with the natural world.

As well as observing fishing regulations, it is important that those who fish adopt responsible fishing practices while out on the water. These practices help to protect the natural environment, maintain the ecological balance of the Reef and contribute to improving its general health.