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Marine Park Permits

Before you do any activity in a marine park, you should check the zoning plan for that area to see if the activity is allowed, and whether it requires a marine park permit.

Permits help marine park managers to:

  • Limit impacts on high-use and sensitive areas
  • Separate potentially conflicting activities
  • Collect data for plans of management
  • Monitor activities that may become damaging to marine parks
  • Provide guidelines for activities
  • Encourage responsible behaviour by all marine park users

Activities that may require permits include:

  • Most tourism activities and commercial whale watching
  • Installation and operation of structures including moorings
  • Any works such as repairs to structures, dredging and dumping
  • Waste discharge from a fixed structure
  • Anchoring and mooring for an extended period
  • Education programs
  • Research
  • Collecting
  • Traditional hunting

If you plan to visit the reef with one of the many operators that visit it regularly they will already hold permits to use it therefore there is no need to worry about permits. However if you plan to go solo or are in any doubt about whether a permit is required, contact the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Permits must be available for inspection in the marine park, and penalties apply for breaches of conditions of permits.

For more information visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website.

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Diving Cairns

Diving Cairns - Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia | Phone: (07) 4041 7536 | E-mail:
Diving Cairns - The ultimate guide to a diving holiday on North Queensland's Great Barrier Reef