HELP TO PROTECT YOUR PATCH OF THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

HELP TO PROTECT YOUR PATCH OF THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

With the Great Barrier Reef on our doorstep, Gladstone is known for its large boating population and plethora of offshore activities; so it’s important to take some simple steps to help protect the World Heritage Area you’re exploring.

Whether you’re out on the boat with family, visiting islands in the Bunker Group, or just chatting to friends who are keen fishers; you can play a key part in protecting your special patch of the Reef.

So what can you do? It’s important to know the marine parks zoning rules and understand where you’re going and what’s allowed before you head out, says Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority compliance manager Ben Kettle.

“Know how to use your GPS plotter, get a free zoning map, and download the free Eye on the Reef zoning app from the App Store or Google Play,” Ben says.

“With the Reef under increasing pressure, there’s no excuse for not knowing and following the rules. In the Gladstone area, there are particular poaching hotspots in no-take green zones near Curtis Island, Polmaise, Llewellyn, Hoskyn and Fairfax Reefs, and near Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot Island.

“Fishers may think taking one or two fish from a green zone is OK, but repeated poaching in the same spot can have a significant impact.”

The Marine Park Authority is also urging marine parks visitors to ‘Protect your Patch’ by reporting suspected no-take green zone poaching or other illegal activity via anonymous 24-hour hotline 1800 380 048 or www.gbrmpa.gov.au. All reports are investigated.

Here are some other ways you can help to protect the Reef…

  • Anchor on sand or use a free public mooring
  • Avoid taking herbivorous fish like parrotfish, which remove seaweed and provide space for new corals to grow
  • Share information with your friends and family by downloading our ‘champions pack’: http://bit.ly/2OfuTkP. Tag @gbrmarinepark and use the hashtag #ZoningRules

Credit: © GBRMPA.