Hervey Bay waters are governed by The Great Sandy Strait Marine Park. Zoning laws and environmental and wildlife regulations apply to all Blue Sky Boat Hire’s designated operational areas.
All skippers of the vessels are required to adhere to the rules and regulations implemented by the Marine Park. These include five colour coded zones:
o Fishing equipment must be stowed away and secured prior to entering this zone
o Same entry/use provision as above with the exception of trolling for pelagic species
o Line fishing limited to one line or rod and one hook or lure per person
o Trolling limited to 3 lines or rods with a combined total of 6 hooks per vessel
o Crabbing limited to 4 catch devices per person
o Trawling prohibited but most other activities allowed
o Commercial activities require permits but most other activities allowed
Fish trap areas protect important Indigenous cultural heritage sites from damage caused by anchors and the impact of excavating, modifying or removing material in these areas. Restrictions relate to anchoring and conducting any activity that may impact on the area’s integrity and cultural values. When fishing in the Great Sandy designated area, recreational fishers are permitted to use three lines or rods per person, with a combined total of six hooks.
WHALES AND DOLPHINS –
Regulations when near a whale or dolphin:
If a marine mammal approaches you – a dolphin decides to ride the bow wave of your boat or if it takes an interest in your vessel, for example – you are not committing an offence. However, if you deliberately approach closer than the minimum prescribed distances you may be liable for prosecution.
TURTLES AND DUGONGS –
Go Slow designated areas are located throughout the marine park to protect turtles and dugong from boat strikes, especially in critical feeding and resting areas. When operating your vessel in Go Slow areas it must be ‘off the plane’ unless within navigational channels or defined transit lanes. Keeping vessels off the plane is a proven and effective way of reducing disturbance, injuries and death to marine wildlife from boat strikes
The shorebird roosting and feeding area exists to protect shorebirds, particularly migratory shorebirds from disturbances by people, vehicles, vessels, aircraft, domestic animals, habitat loss and degradation, and introduced pests and predation.
OCEAN SWIMMING HAZARDS –
Swimming in the ocean is not recommended due to strong currents, rips, sharks, marine stingers and other potential hazards. Medical assistance can by hours away.
Estuarine crocodile sighting have been reported within Great Sandy Marine Park.
By taking these small steps, you'll not only be doing the right thing by the animals, you'll be helping to make sure future generations can enjoy the sights and sounds of whales, dolphins and dugongs for a long time to come.