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Many people use the marine environment, either for recreational activities including boating, diving and fishing, or for commercial activities such as tourism, charter fishing and commercial fishing.

Management Plans for Australian Marine Parks require that certain activities need an authorisation. Authorising activities is one way the Director of National Parks seeks to achieve management plan objectives: that is, to protect and conserve biodiversity and marine park values, and providing for ecologically sustainable use.

Activities may be authorised by a permit, class approval, or activity licence in accordance with the marine park management plans.

A permit is required for the following activities:

  • research and monitoring (non-commercial)
  • Fish Aggregating Devices (FADS)
  • camping (islands and cays)
  • recreational drone use
  • recreational fishing (Recreational Use Zone of Lord Howe Marine Park only (Elizabeth Reef)).

For more information, please see our permits page.

A licence is required for all commercial activities, including:

  • commercial tourism (including visits by cruise ships)
  • commercial media
  • aquaculture/pearling
  • commercial research
  • structures and works.

For more information, please see our licences page.

Permit and licence conditions

Permits and Licences will be issued subject to conditions on the approved activity. Conditions can be viewed on the Permit and Licence Conditions page. Please ensure that you and any proposed authorisation holders or participants understand and will be able to meet your obligations under the permit or licence. We will contact you if further conditions need to be added following assessment of your application. Failure to abide by these conditions may lead to your permit being suspended or cancelled, or your approval being revoked, and may affect future applications.

Actions by or under the direction of the Commonwealth or Commonwealth agencies should contact marineparksauthorisations@awe.gov.au for specific advice.

For further information about the zones and rules in each marine park, check the factsheets on each regional network or Do I need an approval?

Please note applications generally take 8 weeks to assess.

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