CMR alert service

CMR alert service availability

The CMR alert service is now active for Commonwealth commercial fishing vessels operating in Commonwealth marine reserves (CMRs) around Australia where active management applies. The service is available to Commonwealth fishers operating in the actively managed areas of the Coral Sea CMR, and the Temperate East, South-east, South-west and North-west Commonwealth marine reserve networks.

When a Commonwealth commercial fishing vessel enters a CMR where their type of fishing method is not allowed, they will be sent an alert message. The message will be sent via email to an onboard computer and as an SMS message to the fishing concession holder’s nominated mobile phone or to a satellite phone.

Parks Australia has developed the CMR alert service in partnership with the Australian Fishing Management Authority. This free service comes at no cost to the fishing industry, and has been introduced to make it easier for you to do your job while obeying the law.

How CMR alert works

You will get an alert when you enter the reserve only if the type of fishing method associated with your concession is not allowed in the reserve or zone. You will not get an alert where there are no restrictions relating to your fishing method.

We’ll send the alert as a message to your vessel and to the concession holder via email, mobile phone or satellite phone using the contact details you have provided to AFMA (the Australian Fisheries Management Authority).

Your responsibilities

Please be aware that the CMR alert service is a support tool only. It is still a master’s responsibility to know where the vessel is, what you are allowed to do and to have nautical charts for Commonwealth marine reserves on board.


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Frequently asked questions

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What will the alert say?

A single alert will be sent when your vessel enters a Commonwealth marine reserve or zone which prohibits that fishing method. 
The alert will contain the following text:
“Your vessel [VESSEL NAME] has entered a Commonwealth Marine Reserve. You are advised that [GEAR TYPE] fishing is NOT allowed in this zone.”

How will I get the alert?

The alert will be sent:

  • As an email to the on-board VMS unit (via easy Mail where available)
  • As an SMS to the relevant concession holder
  • As an alert to any other nominated contact (e.g. dedicated vessel telephone number)

What if I’m out of range?

Coverage is dependent on a number of factors, including individual mobile coverage and technology available on the vessel.  To maximise your opportunity for using the service it is recommended that you provide AFMA with the most suitable contact number/s including a satellite phone or other designated number where available.

It should be noted, the alert is simply an additional tool to remind you of Commonwealth marine reserve boundaries. If for some reason the alert has been delayed, you are still obliged to comply with the regulations applying to that Commonwealth marine reserve.

Will I get an alert when I leave the Commonwealth marine reserve?

No - it is the responsibility of the master to know when his or her vessel exits a reserve and fishing can recommence.

What about allowed fishing activities?

You’ll only receive a CMR alert where the fishing method is prohibited in the reserve or zone.
This service does not change in any way allowed fishing activities, authorised under a class or general approval from the Director of National Parks. For more information go the web page for the relevant marine reserve.

What if I enter a Commonwealth marine reserve but I don’t get an alert?

The alert is simply an additional tool to remind you of Commonwealth marine reserve boundaries.  If for some reason you don’t get an alert, you are still obliged to comply with the regulations applying to that Commonwealth marine reserve. Any contravention of those regulations may be subject to further investigation.

What if I get an alert in error?

If an alert is received in error it does not imply a legal responsibility to comply with the message.  The  alert does not take the place of the regulations applying to the Commonwealth  marine reserve.

What if I’m simply transiting a Commonwealth marine reserve?

Transiting of Commonwealth marine reserves is generally permitted. The alert will remind you that you may not commence or continue fishing in the marine reserve or zone.  If you do so, you may be subject to further investigation.  Some Commonwealth marine reserves have specific regulations that apply to transit – make sure you are aware of them. Check out the web page for the relevant marine reserve.


Please email Parks Australia at if you:-

  • believe you have received an alert message incorrectly
  • experience any other technical issues with the CMR alert service
  • you do not wish to receive CMR alerts
  • for other enquiries

Please advise AFMA via the GoFISH system or email if you wish to update your details or provide additional contacts for the CMR alert service.