Collecting

One of the many thrills that a Reef visit brings comes from discovering its remarkable and unique animal and plant life.

Many visitors understandably want to keep a memento of their unforgettable trip, but they could be pocketing a creature’s home or, in worst cases, taking a live animal from its neighbourhood.

Your help is needed make sure that the Reef’s natural treasures are left behind for others to enjoy. Please collect memories and take photos, rather than limited edition natural trophies.

In general - look but don’t touch

  • If you take specimens in accordance with the Zoning Plan, take only what you need, and abide by official limits
  • Return all unwanted specimens to the water carefully and quickly, preferably to the exact location where you found them
  • Collect dead shells only
  • Check the shells for live animals that may be living on or inside them. If there are any, return the shells to where they were found
  • Treat all specimens humanely and carefully, as handling some specimens may be dangerous.

Marine Parks Legal Requirements

  • You must abide by the collecting requirements in the Zoning Plan.
  • Limited collecting is allowed in General Use (Light Blue) Zone, Habitat Protection (Dark Blue) Zone and Conservation Park (Yellow) Zones. Limits to the number and frequency apply (generally no more than five specimens at a time).
  • Collecting is not allowed in the Buffer (Olive) Zone, Scientific Research (Orange) Zone, Marine National Park (Green) Zone or Preservation (Pink) Zone.
  • A specific Marine Parks permit is required to collect greater numbers than the Zoning Plan allows, or to collect coral or protected species.
  • You must not damage, collect or otherwise take coral, including dead coral, and protected shell species (that is giant triton shell, helmet shell, giant clam) in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park unless you have a Marine Parks permit.

Note: Take includes removing, gathering, killing or interfering with, or attempting to remove. There may be special arrangements for Traditional Owners.