Illegal fishers: Just like rockcod, they will get caught!

How lucky are we to live on the Capricorn Coast with the Southern Great Barrier Reef right on our doorstep? Family boat trips in the bay, fishing at Five Rocks and snorkeling in the Keppels – just a few of the amazing activities we get to do on a regular basis.

But our way of living is in a spot of trouble. Not many people realise illegal fishing is one of the top four threats to the Reef and it’s still occurring on the Capricorn Coast.

Become a champion for the Reef by helping spread the word about zoning rules, how zoning is helping to protect the Reef and responsible Reef practices by sharing the information from our Protect Your Patch page on your social media channels, on your website, in presentations, or displaying posters where you’ll know marine parks visitors will see them. Please note: We’d love you to use these materials, but for copyright reasons each graphic needs to be used in its entirety. Also, don’t forget to tag us on social media (@gbrmarinepark), use #LoveTheReef, and reference GBRMPA where possible (

Our community can easily help manage the issue though by enjoying our activities out on the water in a Reef-friendly way and anonymously reporting suspected illegal fishing.

Confidential reporting is widely embraced by catchment communities along the Great Barrier Reef. The GBRMPA anonymous reporting system allows illegal fishing to be reported in confidence, so there is no need to worry about any conflicts arising in your community. Not at any point are you required to approach suspected offenders — GBRMPA will handle everything. Just follow these simple steps to report an incident.

Remember, poaching affects all of us. When illegal fishers poach fish in green zones, they take away the breeding fish that supply fish stocks to areas open to fishing. They also reduce the Reef’s resilience and make corals more vulnerable to disease, crown-of-thorns starfish attacks and extreme weather events. If non-compliant fishers still choose to do the wrong thing in spite of all this, just like rockcod, they WILL get caught. They’ll also face a $2100 fine

Let’s work together to protect our local patch to ensure a healthy and beautiful Reef for future generations!

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