In 2004, a new Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan came into effect. This Plan is designed to protect and conserve the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem while providing opportunities for ecologically sustainable use by current and future generations.
It has been nationally and internationally recognised as world's best practice in managing marine ecosystems and has received numerous awards and accolades.
The Zoning Plan is the key way in which this great natural area is preserved now and into the future. To be effective, it needs your support.
What does zoning do?
Zoning protects the many unique habitats in the Marine Park through managing where you can go and what you can do. It is one of the main tools you should be familiar with when operating in the Marine Park.
What can I do in each zone?
Each zone described in the Plan has a specific level of protection that determines what you can do there and each is mapped in a different colour. There are also other areas with special provisions such as Public Appreciation and Restricted Access Special Management Areas. What you can and can't do is described in the Activities Guide (see Download Guide).
What about State Marine Park zoning?
If you are operating in estuaries and enclosed bays you should also check the zoning for the Great Barrier Reef Coast State Marine Park (see Related Links). The zoning provisions for this State Marine Park are generally the same as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan.
How do I check the zoning?
Before going out into the Marine Parks please check all the management arrangements for where you go, especially the zoning. A series of zoning maps cover all areas of the Marine Parks.
The zoning maps are a guide to zoning. The zone boundary and descriptions can be found in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003.