Ships travelling through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park may only navigate within the designated shipping area and the General Use Zone.
To navigate outside of these areas, ship operators must obtain a permit from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The designated shipping area is designed to minimise the impact of the shipping industry while complying with Australia's international obligations.
The total area available for ship navigation is approximately 80 per cent of the Marine Park.
Almost all ships travel safely along the designated shipping routes with little, if any, impact.
The location of the General Use Zone is outlined in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003.