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Great Barrier Reef

What can I do to help protect the Great Barrier Reef?

There is much we can do in our homes, in our work and our lifestyles to reduce our impact on the Great Barrier Reef. To improve the quality of water reaching the Great Barrier Reef:

  • Do not dispose of chemicals down the drain.
  • Keep drains and gutters clear of rubbish.
  • Limit your use of pesticides and fertilisers.
  • Take care not to spill when fuelling boats or changing the engine oil.
  • Use garden beds or vegetation strips to capture rainwater on your land.
  • Dispose of all waste appropriately including returning all litter to the mainland.
  • Use biodegradable toilet paper and phosphate-free cleaning products


boat on reef


When fishing on or near the Great Barrier Reef, ensure that you:

  • Take only as many fish as required.
  • Return unwanted and undersized fish to the water as quickly as possible.
  • Report fish kills or illegal fishing. Fishwatch Hotline: 1800 017 116.
  • Take old fishing line, plastics and other rubbish home with you.

When anchoring and mooring on the Great Barrier Reef:

  • Anchor in sand, rubble or mud, and away from living coral.
  • Keep the anchor chain away from living coral.
  • Motor towards the anchor when hauling in.
  • Use approved mooring buoys when provided.
  • Obey 'No Anchorage' signs if applicable.

When boating on the Great Barrier Reef:

  • Slow down. (Less than planing speed can avoid serious injury to marine animals.)
  • Give marine animals plenty of space if you see them.
  • Call the Marine Animal Hotline on 1300 360 898 to report injured or dead dugong, dolphins, turtles and whales.
  • Dispose of all waste appropriately including returning all litter to the mainland.
  • Ensure your vessel has an approved sewage holding facility and that sewage is disposed of appropriately on the mainland

When snorkelling or diving on the Great Barrier Reef:

  • Do not rest or stand on living coral. If tired return to the vessel or shore.
  • If you pick anything up, return it to exactly the same position.
  • Practice buoyancy control.
  • Secure all gauges and pressure hoses.
  • Do not chase, grab or try to ride larger, free-swimming animals. Do not block their path.

When visiting Islands of the Great Barrier Reef:

  • Take home all litter and rubbish.
  • Be careful not to pollute streams and waterways through washing, cleaning or toilet activities.
  • Remove any foreign plants or seeds from your footwear or clothing before going ashore.
  • Use established tracks and paths.
  • Avoid roosting or nesting seabird colonies.


This information will help you to ensure that your activities help protect the Reef.

Contact GBRMPA

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
PO Box 1379

Phone: (07) 4750 0700
Fax: (07) 4772 6093

Website: www.gbrmpa.gov.au
Email: info@gbrmpa.gov.au

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Find out about:

Pressure on the Great Barrier Reef
Pressure on marine turtles, dugongs, seabirds
What can I do to help protect the Great Barrier Reef?
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