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Boat and fish with care
It’s essential to be safe while boating and fishing and you also need to know where you can go and what rules apply. These rules, together with responsible practices, will keep you (and the environment) safe while you’re out on the water.
On the water
- Stay informed and heed marine warnings and current weather conditions in your area.
- Ensure your boat is safe, properly equipped and maintained, and operated in a safe manner.
- Have all the safety gear you need, maintain it well and know how to use it.
- Check out Queensland’s volunteer marine rescue organisations—the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue—which provide boating safety education, marine radio communications and emergency search and rescue services for recreational boaties.
Rules you need to know
- Zoning in the Great Barrier Reef and Great Barrier Reef Coast, Great Sandy and Moreton Bay marine parks protects plants, animals and habitats, and defines what activities can occur in each location.
- You need to know your zones before heading into a marine park:
- Know the rules for discharging different types of sewerage in coastal waters.
- Be aware of rules for watching marine mammals. These rules help marine mammals to live naturally, without disturbance, while at the same time allowing you to safely watch them.
- Always be crocwise in croc country.
- Help protect our parks by ensuring you don’t carry plant seeds, soil or pests in footwear, clothing, boats, vehicles and gear.
- Share the water —know how to manoeuvre vessels around whales and dolphins.
- Go slow for those below—watch out for wildlife such as turtles and dugongs, especially over shallow seagrass areas.
- Stay away from nesting seabirds. If disturbed, adult birds can abandon their nests, leaving eggs and chicks vulnerable to heat, cold and predation.
- Report strandings of sick, injured or dead turtles, dolphins, dugongs or whales and fish kills to the Queensland Government at 1300 130 372.
- Report oil and other spills to Maritime Safety Queensland.
- Report suspected unlawful fishing activities to Fish Watch.
Mooring and anchoring
- Use moorings, where they’re available, to minimise damage to coral and seagrass beds.
- Public moorings are blue, double-cone buoys with a colour-coded band. The band colour specifies conditions of use.
- Using private moorings requires the owner’s permission.
- Where moorings are not available, anchor away from coral, sea grass and other fragile marine environments. Follow these guidelines and rules for anchoring.
- Some reef areas are particularly vulnerable to anchor damage and are marked by reef protection markers—white, pyramid-shaped buoys with blue labels. Anchoring is prohibited within these areas.
- Make sure you know your fishing responsibilities and Queensland's fishing rules before you head out.
- Visit Fisheries Queensland for information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures.
- If you are fishing in a marine park, check the zoning before you go—fish only where permitted, and observe entry and use provisions.
- Treat fish humanely, look after the fisheries, protect the environment and respect the rights of others. For information see National Code of Practice for Recreational and Sport Fishing.
- If you catch any tagged fish, report them to Suntag.
- You need to purchase a stocked impoundment permit for certain dams.
- Check your bait—don’t use imported, raw prawns from the supermarket as bait. They may carry diseases which can get into our waterways and harm our prawn populations.
Want to know more?
Read stay safe and visit with care for important information about staying safe, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.