Using moorings, where they are available, helps to minimise anchor damage to fragile environments. There are two types of moorings in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park:
- Public moorings
- Privately owned moorings
Public moorings are available to all Reef users and are installed at popular locations. Blue beehive shaped buoys attached to the moorings have a colour-coded band explaining the class (vessel length), time limits and maximum wind strength limits applicable to the mooring.
A large number of privately-owned moorings also exist in the Marine Park and you should have the owner’s permission before using these moorings.
Maps of public mooring locations and their GPS coordinates are available to help you locate these moorings.
- Public moorings and reef protection areas from Lizard Island to Innisfail
- Public moorings and reef protection areas from Mission Beach to Townsville
- Public moorings and reef protection areas in the Whitsundays.
Using public moorings
To protect fragile reefs in high-use areas, rules to help stop misuse of public moorings and reef protection markers are in place. While there have always been rules around the use of moorings, the rules have been updated to outline what is considered misuse of public moorings. This includes:
- exceeding time limits
- attaching more than one vessel to a public mooring
- rafting-up – attaching multiple vessels in a chain when one vessel is attached to the mooring
- altering the mooring
- not following the instructions on the mooring.
These rules are to help ensure public moorings continue to be available for everyone's use. It's about playing fair while out on the water. Anyone found to be misusing a public mooring or public infrastructure may be issued with a fine.
The policy on moorings in the Great Barrier Reef can be found here.
I've found a damaged mooring or loose buoy – who should I tell?
If you have found a damaged mooring, please make a note of any markings and its GPS position so it can be reported. If you have found a buoy that has come adrift, please report it as below:
- If it’s a blue public mooring, please contact Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services
- If it’s any other colour, it’s likely to be a private mooring (it should have a number on it, for example GM0123). Please contact us on (07) 4750 0700 or you can report it online.
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.
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