Boating Code of Conduct


  • Wherever possible launch and disembark at designated ramps to prevent erosion and damage to shorelines and vegetation
  • If travelling in an estuary reduce the impact of wake by observing speed limits and/or ‘no wake’ zones
  • Position the boat toward the centre of water channels and ensure the vessel is correctly trimmed 
  • Take care in areas of seagrass, coral reef and mangroves to avoid grounding and damage from keels and propellers. Ensure there is a minimum of 1.0 m clearance between the vessel’s propeller and the seabed to avoid churning up bottom sediments or damaging seagrass beds
  • Operate your boat in displacement mode in turtle areas to avoid collisions with these animals 
  • Be aware of and respect the rules for marine mammal encounters. The relevant NSW Legislation detailing the prescribed approach distances can be accessed at:
  • When at sea navigate the vessel away from or around flocks of roosting or feeding seabirds


  • Use moorings where available, check they are suitable for your boat and current weather conditions
  • Be aware of ‘no anchor’ zones
  • Make sure your vessel’s anchor is large enough to avoid dragging and has enough chain for the type of anchorage
  • If possible check out an area before anchoring and avoid lowering onto sensitive habitats such as seagrass or coral
  • If not using a fixed mooring designate a diver to inspect anchor when first entering water. He/she checks for safe holding and minimal damage caused by chain, and repositions anchor/chain as required. The last diver leaving the water is responsible to ensure anchor can be raised easily
  • Anchoring in seagrass areas should be avoided at all costs, but if that is not possible then a soft bag filled with sand is likely to cause minimum damage to seagrass beds
  • Use heavy plastic tubing over the anchor chain wherever possible 
  • Motor toward the anchor when hauling in 
  • Ensure an anchor ‘watch’ is undertaken by the coxswain/boat driver

Managing Dive Sites

  • Install or lobby for permanent buoyed mooring at dive sites which are experiencing anchor damage 
  • Rotate dive sites to avoid over-using a particular site 
  • Be aware of special rules in marine protected areas such as marine parks and aquatic reserves