CAIRNS Reef Closures

Fishing within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is regulated by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). We observe the Cairns reef closures.

2022-2028 dates for Cairns Reef closures

  • 2022 Reef Closure dates are 22-26 October and 21- 25 November
  • 2023 Reef Closure dates are 12-16 October and 10- 14 November
  • 2024 Reef Closure dates (indicative only) are 30 September to 4 October and 29 October to 2 November
  • 2025 Reef Closure dates (indicative only) are 18-22 October and 17-21 November
  • 2026 Reef Closure dates (indicative only) are 8-12 October and 6-10 November
  • 2027 Reef Closure dates (indicative only) are 26-30 October and 25-29 November
  • 2028 Reef Closure dates (indicative only) are 15-19 October and 13-17 November

Why do we have closed seasons?

The Reef closed seasons prevent people from fishing at certain times of the year to protect fish species at vulnerable times in their life cycle (spawning season).

Closed seasons are important to allow stocks to replenish to ensure there are sustainable numbers of fish for current and future generations to enjoy.

October and November have been shown scientifically to be the most effective months for closures to protect coral reef fin fish. The closure dates coincide with the new moon when coral reef fin fish species such as emperors, cods, groupers, coral trout and tropical snapper aggregate to spawn.

If you’d like to learn more about how we help protect the Great Barrier Reef, visit our practices for more information.

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