Marine Park Permits

This information is provided as a service to Lizard Island Research Station visitors. It is the Station's interpretation of requirements that apply to research in the Lizard Island area.


For definitive information, contact:

Research Permits Officer
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
PO Box 1379
TOWNSVILLE QLD 4810
Phone: (+617) 4750-0700
Fax: (+617) 4772-6093
E-mail: research.permits@gbrmpa.gov.au
Website: GBRMPA research permits

A new zoning plan for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park came into effect on 1 July 2004. Management of scientific research has changed under the new Plan. The link to GBRMPA's web site provided above has an excellent flow chart showing what permissions are required for research under different circumstances. LIRS is in the process of developing an Environmental Management Plan for the Lizard Island area but no such plan exists at present.

Virtually all research conducted from the Lizard Island Research Station that involves collecting specimens or manipulating the environment must be covered by either a permit or a letter of authorisation from an organisation that has been formally accredited by GBRMPA.

Research permit applications can be initiated online from the GBRMPA site but must be backed up with a signed hard copy. Allow at least 8 weeks for an application to be processed and a decision made.

The following information is provided to assist with filling in the Marine Parks permit application form:

Section: Cairns

Location: Lizard Island Group. The majority of research at the Station takes place in this locality. If you intend to work at any other reefs and islands, larger boats and at least a three-person team are required and the names of the reefs must be specified in the permit application. Opportunistic trips to other reefs are sometimes possible. To be able to take advantage of these, you may want to add the following occasionally-visited locations to your permit application: North Direction Island, MacGillivray's Reef, Yonge Reef, Hicks Reef and Day Reef. Indicate in your application that these sites are included only to allow for work there if the opportunity to visit them becomes available - they are not intended as major study sites.

Marine Park Zones: Lizard Island has three zones surrounding it: Marine National Park Zone, Scientific Research Zone and Conservation Park Zone. It is prudent to request use of all these zones in your permit application. See GBRMPA's site or contact the Research Station for zoning details of other reefs.

Frequency of use: e.g. "Daily for up to four weeks per year for three years "

Vessel use: Lizard Island Research Station boats

If you are unsure about exactly which species you will need to collect or manipulate, it may be appropriate to apply for a permit to collect a particular broad group (such as fish) up to the levels allowed for "Limited research sampling" (defined in Table 19-1 on the GBRMPA web page indicated above). Information about your proposed collecting methods must be provided.

Your permit needs to cover collection of organisms that are ancillary to your project, as well as the major study organisms. For example, if you intend to keep animals in the aquarium and they need to be fed live fish or provided with live coral or algae-covered rubble, your permit needs to include all those things.


Dr Anne Hoggett , Director, Lizard Island Research Station
Last Updated: