Zoning plan history
Moreton Bay has had a long history of use, much of which was exploitative industrial uses such as coral mining, sand mining and whaling. In the mid-1960s, strong public opposition arose against plans for a canal estate and further mining. This resulted in the first fish habitat areas being declared in Moreton Bay. These areas protect fish habitats from coastal development while still allowing all forms of legal fishing. Three decades later in 1993, after a long community campaign by local conservationists, scientists, tourism groups and educators, the Moreton Bay Marine Park was declared.
The framework for managing the marine park was provided for in a plan developed under the Marine Parks Act 1982. The first Moreton Bay Marine Park zoning plan—Marine Parks (Moreton Bay) Zoning Plan 1997—commenced in December 1997 and its purpose was to conserve the marine environment while providing for its wise use, enjoyment and appreciation into the future.
The 1997 plan had five types of zones which offered various levels of protection:
- protection zones—‘no-take’ zones (less than one per cent of the marine parks was set aside as protection zones)
- buffer zones—same as protection zones but allowed for trolling for pelagic fish species
- conservation zones—recreational activities were permitted but commercial trawling was prohibited
- habitat zones—allowed for most activities except disruptive ones like shipping operations and mining
- general use zones—allowed for most activities but some, such as commercial operations, required a permit.
In 2008, the 1997 zoning plan was reviewed under the Marine Parks Act 2004 and the Marine Parks (Moreton Bay) Zoning Plan 2008 came into effect on 1 March 2009.
In 2019, the Zoning Plan was remade and the Marine Parks (Moreton Bay) Zoning Plan 2019 commenced on 1 September 2019. The remake included minor administrative amendments only and no changes were made to zones, designated areas or entry and use requirements. Find out more about the zoning plan remake and review process.