Education, Surveillance and Enforcement

Zoning education

Since zoning came into effect on 1 July 2004, there has been a comprehensive and ongoing communication and education campaign. The aim is to encourage boaties and fishers to get their free zoning map so they know where they can go and what they can do.

The campaign has seen more than one million free zoning maps distributed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and 200 Community Access Points - bait and tackle shops, boating suppliers and government agencies that stock zoning maps.

Signs with zoning information are also located at major boat ramps along the Great Barrier Reef coast. Electronic zoning information was provided to commercial suppliers of electronic navigation charts to assist with navigating the zones.

The GBRMPA uses other tools to raise awareness about zoning including tactical news releases and media interviews, advertising, and billboards to educate non-Queensland visitors. The GBRMPA also has information booths at boat shows and has a range of information online.

Key publications

Surveillance and enforcement for the Zoning Plan

Policing 344 400 square kilometres requires a systematic and disciplined operation. Boat and aircraft patrols operate in the Marine Park on a regular basis, checking on activities and monitoring ecological conditions.

The Australian and Queensland Governments have a strong commitment to ensuring compliance throughout the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Without adequate compliance the management of the Marine Park would not be successful.

Coordinated vessel and aircraft patrols operate on a regular basis and include strategic alliances between:

  • The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Day-to-Day Management Compliance Unit
  • Queensland Parks and Wildlife
  • Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol 
  • Customs National Marine Unit
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority
  • Coastwatch
  • Australian Federal Police Service
  • Queensland Police Service.

The GBRMPA continues to view education as the most effective strategy to encourage compliance with Marine Park management principles. However, enforcement action, infringement notices and prosecution are important deterrence tools that managers have available to them.

Members of the public who use the Marine Park for both commercial and recreational purposes are also vital to the effective surveillance of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park regulations. The role of education and public participation in much of the management related to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park should not be underestimated. Reports from members of the public about suspected illegal activities and general usage patterns are an invaluable source of surveillance information for the managing agencies.

How to report illegal activities in the Marine Park?