Joint media release: Holiday makers urged to help the reef and follow the rules

23 December 2020

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
The Hon Warren Entsch MP, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef

Visitors to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park over the holiday period are being urged to play their part in protecting the health of the Reef by following the rules - particularly when it comes to fishing.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said all actions, big and small, can contribute to reducing the pressures on the Reef from our changing climate and that illegal fishing during holiday periods can be a major challenge to precious marine ecosystems.

“We look forward to holidaymakers enjoying the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef,” Minister Ley said.

“At a time when the Morrison Government is engaging in world leading Reef science adaptation and resilience strategies from water quality to revegetation, coral IVF and reef stabilisation, it is important that everyone who visits the Reef also considers what they can do to help this precious environment.

“No-take zones are there to protect the delicate ecosystems of the Reef and, with two thirds of the Reef open to fishing, there is no excuse for breaking the rules on the water.

“Even a small amount of illegal fishing can have serious impacts on Reef health particularly at a time when we have experienced coral bleaching and cyclones.”

Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef Warren Entsch warned that anyone caught fishing in a no-take green zone risked a $2220 fine.

“Most visitors to the Reef respect its beauty and do the right thing, but for those who don’t the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and its compliance partners will be out on the water in force, particularly at known hot spots,” the Special Envoy said.

“For your own safety and the safety of the environment it is important to also ensure your vessel is in good order and take any rubbish home to recycle it at the end of the trip.”

Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead by using the free Eye on the Reef app, free zoning maps, and chart plotters.

Any suspected illegal activity can be reported to a 24-hour free hotline 1800 380 048, or online at