Coastal and Marine

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The regions coastal and marine area is dominated by the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) and contains the reef lagoon inshore coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangrove estuaries, shoals, wonky holes and continental islands. The significance of the region is recognised by its World Heritage listing but also includes Marine Parks, Fish Habitat Areas and Dugong Protection Areas.

Bioregional mapping based on the biological and physical diversity of habitats has been undertaken for the GBRWHA with fourteen bioregions being identified within the Burdekin Dry Tropics boundaries.

GBRWHA Burdekin Dry Tropics Bioregions

Marine Bioregions of the Burdekin Region

NA3 - High Nutrient Coastal Strip

NB5 - Inner Mid Shelf lagoon

NB7 - Mid Shelf Lagoon

NL3 - Outer Shelf Inter reef - central

X7 - Central Inter reef

RA3 - Outer Shelf reef

RA4 - Strong Tidal Outer Shelf reef

RE3 - Coastal Central reefs

RE4 - Coastal Southern reefs

RF2 - Central Open lagoon reefs

RG2 - Exposed Mid shelf reefs

RHC - High Continental Island reefs

RHW - Strong Tidal Mid Shelf reefs

Bioregions (see map) form the basis for identifying areas for management under the Representative Areas Program initiated by the by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA 2003). This has resulted in improved representative examples of reef and non-reef bioregions totalling approximately a third of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park area, being protected in no-take zones.

The majority of fisheries operating in the region are regulated by the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, under the provisions of the Fisheries Act 1994 and its regulations, subordinate management plans and associated policies.

The major fisheries with salient management plans include the trawl (prawn) fishery, reef line fishery and the recreational freshwater fishery. Management plans for the other significant fisheries of the region including the east coast finfish (estuarine and net) fishery and the crab (pot) fishery are flagged for future development. Broader management of fisheries habitat, fish-way/passage, and restocking activities also comes under the control of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Much of the future seafood industry may be based upon aquaculture with the potential for expansion of land-based aquaculture in the Burdekin Dry Tropics greater than for other coastal areas in Queensland. Farmers across the region are investigating aquaculture as a potential diversification. Regional forums have demonstrated considerable interest in new aquaculture ventures.

You may also be interested in:


  • GBRMPA 2003 - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Australian Government. .

Coastal and marine.jpg
Marine Bioregions

Page last updated 29 September 2014

This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at
while corporate information about NQ Dry Tropics is held on our main website at
NQ Dry Tropics Website