The GBRMPA recognises that fishing is an important and reasonable use of the Marine Park and consistent with use of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
However, it also acknowledges that fishing affects target species, non-target species and their habitats and consequently has the potential for producing ecological effects in both the fished areas and the reef system as a whole.
- Extraction of top order predators (e.g. sharks) – most predator populations are relatively healthy, but a few species are under serious pressure, with potential flow-on impacts on habitats and other species in the food web.
- Incidental catch of protected species and other species of conservation concern.
- Death of non-targeted or discarded (by-catch) species.
- Each major ecological group plays a role in the complex food web of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Targeting a specific level in the food web, or a specific size class, can have unintended ecological consequences.
- Fishing unprotected spawning aggregations.
- Maintaining the role of herbivorous fish that are critical for the health of coral reefs. Without herbivores, macroalgae (or seaweed) can overgrow corals resulting in coral mortality and reduced settlement and growth of new coral.
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.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
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.