Boat and fish with care
Boat and fish with care
What’s not to love about boating and fishing in Queensland’s national and marine parks? While it’s important to be safe while boating and fishing, 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.
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.
On the water
- Stay informed of any 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.
- Zoning in the Great Barrier Reef, 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 make sure marine mammals can live naturally, without being disturbed, while at the same time allow you to watch them in safety.
- Always be croc-wise in croc country.
- Help protect our parks by ensuring you don’t carry pests in footwear, clothing, boats, vehicles and gear.
- Go slow and look out 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.
- 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.
- There’s nothing like wetting a line in Queensland’s national and marine parks but check whether fishing is permitted before you out and make sure you are aware of your fishing responsibilities.
- If you are heading into a marine park, check the zoning before you go.
- You need to purchase a stocked impoundment permit for certain dams.
- Visit Fisheries Queensland for information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures.
- Have a look at the National Code of Practice for Recreational and Sport Fishing to ensure you treat fish humanely, look after the fisheries, protect the environment and respect the rights of others.
- If you catch any tagged fish, report them to Suntag.
- Live bait cannot be taken into any national park unless it is an invertebrate (e.g. worms and shrimps) and caught immediately adjacent to the park—see section 124 of the Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulations 2006.
- Hand gathering insects and other invertebrates (except for freshwater spiny crayfish) to use as bait for recreational fishing may be allowed in national parks, subject to certain conditions (see section 62 of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and section 47 and schedule 6 of the Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulations 2006.
- Imported, raw prawns sold at supermarkets may carry diseases which could then be introduced into Australian waterways. These diseases could have devastating consequences on prawn populations (both farmed and in the wild). Prawns purchased from the supermarket are meant for human consumption only and should not be used as bait. For more information go to the check your bait website.