In 1975, the Government of Australia enacted the Great
Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, which created the
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The Government
of Australia manages the reef through the Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park Authority and in partnership with the
Government of Queensland, to ensure that it is widely
understood and used in a sustainable manner.
The Great Barrier Reef - the world's largest World
Heritage Area is made up of some 2,800 individual reefs.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to an estimated
1,500 species of fish, more than 700 species of hard,
reef-building corals and sponges and over 4,000 mollusc
species, as well as whales, dugongs, turtles and
From above, the Great Barrier Reef looks like a swirl of
blues. Turquoise channels snake between sapphire coral
gardens towards the foam-edged indigo where the reefs
end and the continental shelf plunges 1,500m. There are
other blues under the water, and reds, yellows, purples,
greens, oranges and pinks too, sometimes all on one
There is a diverse range of recreational activities on
the Great Barrier Reef. These include:
fishing , diving and snorkelling, yachting and boating ,
motorised water sports, sea kayaking and windsurfing,
photography, and shell collecting.
Recreational use of the Marine Park is concentrated
around major regional centres along the Queensland coast
with many operators offering diving, sailing snorkelling
and extended charter tours of the Great Barrier Reef.