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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.

Actions by or under the direction of the Commonwealth or Commonwealth agencies should contact marineparks@environment.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?

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