Representative Areas Program Publications

Technical Information Sheets 

  • Correcting misinformation, misunderstandings and providing the facts -
  • Further reading relevent to development of Biophysical Operational Principles for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (as at 2002) -
  • What you should know - Introduction
  • Biodiversity and why it is important - Biodiversity is a term used to describe the abundance of all plants and animals, together with the places they live and the natural processes that keep them alive. We rely on biodiversity for a diverse range of social, economic and cultural benefits. This sheet further explains the value of biodiversity and outlines the importance of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area for biodiversity.
  • Zoning in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - Zoning is one of the principal management tools used to manage impacts and activities in the Marine Park. Zones allow for a spectrum of activities to occur within specific areas of the Marine Park, as well as help separate potentially conflicting uses.
  • Do no-take areas work? - The best possible scientific evidence was used to support the implementation of the Representative Areas Program along with extensive community input and information. Scientific evidence from countries all over the world supports the value of no-take areas in protecting animals, plants and habitats for the long-term. This information sheet includes a review of some of that evidence.
  • The benefits of no-take areas - No-take areas provide more benefits to society than just protecting threatened species or different habitat types. The Representative Areas Program was about protecting biodiversity. This is a summary of the benefits of no-take areas.
  • What is the Representative Areas Program? - The Representative Areas Program was a review of the existing zoning within the Marine Park to further protect its unique biodiversity, while minimising impacts on existing use. This is a review of the objectives of the program and the process for its implementation.
  • Biophysical operational principles - An independent Scientific Steering Committee has developed a package of biophysical principles aimed at protecting the biodiversity of the entire Marine Park. These 11 biophysical principles make recommendations on, for example, the minimum size of no-take areas (Green Zones) for each of the 70 bioregions in the Marine Park. The biophysical principles helped to guide the implementation of Green Zones during the rezoning process.
  • Social, economic, cultural and mangement feasibility operational principals - An independent steering committee developed a package of principles to protect the social, economic and cultural values of interest groups towards the Marine Park. Implementation of these principles, together with input from local communities and stakeholders, meant the new system of no-take areas (Green Zones) were located where they will cause the least detrimental impact on Marine Park users.
  • A review of zoning plans - The entire Marine Park was re-zoned in order to better protect the Reef. This rezoning implemented the Representative Areas Program by expanding the size and number of no-take areas (Green Zones). It achieved a number of other objectives (including the new coastal areas below).
  • New coastal areas of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - The addition to the Marine Park of 28 new coastal areas means these areas were zoned for the first time. This was done concurrently when re-zoning the rest of the Marine Park where zoning plans already exist. Input guided future management arrangements for these small but significant areas.
  • Information collected to assist in the Representative Areas Program - In developing a network of no-take areas (Green Zones), the GBRMPA considered scientific evidence together with a wide range of other social, economic, cultural and management information. As far as is possible the values, practical experience and knowledge of local communities was considered as part of the program.
  • How we currently manage the Great Barrier Reef - This is a basic outline of the management structure and the broad approach by which the GBRMPA manages the range of critical issues that affect the Marine Park.
  • Our environmental commitments - There are numerous national and international commitments, conventions and treaties relevant to the protection of the environment. The Representative Areas Program helps Australia to fulfil these commitments and better protect the broad range of biodiversity occurring throughout the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Frequently asked questions - This is a compilation of some of the most commonly asked questions from stakeholder meetings and presentations.
  • Need more information? - A list of useful websites and publications provided to stakeholders during the public participation phases of the Representative Areas Program.
  • Maps 

  • Surface and Oceanic Currents and Water Depth in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritgae Area - Map showing oceanographic currents and ocean depths.
  • Sediment Composition in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area - Map showing the occurrence of calcareous sediments and biota in sediment samples.
  • Regionalisation of Sponge Fauna based upon Classification Analysis - The sponge fauna regionalisation was derived from statistical ‘classification analysis’, which groups sites according to the (sponge) taxa that have been found there. The result divides the Marine Park into 10 regions. The boundaries between some of these regions are more ‘fuzzy’ than others, as indicated on the map.
  • Protecting the non-reef bioregions in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area -
  • Coastal Seagrass Meadows (1984-1988) and Deepwater Seagrass Sites (1994-1999) -
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning and Adjacent Conservation Zones (Draft 26-04-02) -
  • Map showing study sites -
  • Information Sheets 

  • General Information For Users Of Bioregion Information -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NA1 Far Northern Coastal Strip -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NA3 High Nutrients Coastal Strip -
  • NA4 Inshore Terrigenous Sands -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NB1 Inshore Muddy Lagoon -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NB3 Inner Shelf Seagrass -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NB5 Inner Mid Shelf Lagoon -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NB6 Inner Shelf Lagoon Continental Islands -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NB7 Mid Shelf Lagoon -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NB8 Capricorn Bunker Lagoon -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NC Mid Shelf Inter Reef - Seagrass -
  • Non-reef bioregion: ND Mid Shelf Inter Reef -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NE Outer Shelf Lagoon -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NF Halimeda Banks - Some Coral -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NH Mid Shelf Sandy Inter Reef -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NI Halimeda Banks -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NJ Princess Charlotte Bay Outer Shelf -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NL1 Outer Shelf Algae and Seagrass -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NL2 Outer Shelf Seagrass -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NL3 Outer Shelf Inter Reef - Central -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NM Mid Shelf Seagrass -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NN Capricorn Bunker Banks -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NL5 Swains Inter Reef -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NO Capricorn Trough -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NP Eastern Plateau -
  • NQ Steep Slope -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NR Queensland Trough -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NS Intermediate Broad Slope -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NTE Eastern Pelagic Platform -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NTW Western Pelagic Platform -
  • Non-reef bioregion: NU Terraces -
  • Reef bioregion: RA1 Deltaic Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RA2 Outer Barrier Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RA3 Outer Shelf Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RA4 Strong Tidal Outer Shelf Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RB1 Far Northern Outer Mid Shelf Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RC2 Far Northern Protected Mid Shelf Reefs and Shoals -
  • Reef bioregion: RCB Capricorn Bunker Outer Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RCB2 Capricorn Bunker Mid Shelf Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RD Far Northern Open Lagoon Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RE1 Coastal Far Northern Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RE2 Coastal Northern Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RE4 Coastal Southern Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RE5 High Tidal Fringing Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RE7 Tidal Mud Flat Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RF1 Northern Open Lagoon Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RF2 Central Open Lagoon Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RG1 Sheltered Mid Shelf Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RG2 Exposed Mid Shelf Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RHC1 High Continental Island Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RHC2 High Continental Island Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RHE Strong Tidal Mid Shelf Reefs (East) -
  • Reef bioregion: RHL Hard Line Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RHW Strong Tidal Mid Shelf Reefs (West) -
  • Reef bioregion: RK Strong Tidal Inner Mid Shelf Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RSWM Swains Mid Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RSWN Coral Sea Swains-Northern Reefs -
  • Reef bioregion: RSWO Swains Outer Reefs -
  • X1 Far Northern Offshelf -
  • X2 Offshelf Queensland Trough -
  • X3 Outer Far Northern Inter Reef -
  • X4 Capricorn Bunker Inter Reef -
  • X5 Outer Central Inter Reef -
  • X6 Central Offshelf -
  • X8 Southern Embayment -
    • Free zoning app

      Zoning maps

      If you're heading out on the water, download and use the free zoning app so you know where you can go and what you can do.

    • Important milestone

      40 years anniversary

      We're delighted to celebrate the 40 years of the managing the Great Barrier Reef.

    • Visit the Reef

      fish on reef

      Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing animals, plants, and habitats.

    • What you can do

      purple coral

      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.

    • Report marine strandings


      If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)

    • Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef

      Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef vulnerability assessment cover image

      A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.