The aim of this Passage Planning Guide is to provide a simple to understand tool to assist the bridge team in making a safe and controlled transit
of the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait. The Great Barrier Reef is both a Marine Park and a World Heritage Area, where The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) plays a major role in the management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The IMO declared the Great Barrier Reef a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in 1990, and the Torres Strait a PSSA in 2005. A PSSA is an area that needs special protection through action by the IMO because it is significant for recognized ecological, socio-economic or scientific reasons, but it may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities. The criteria for the identification of PSSAs and the criteria for the designation of Special Areas are not mutually exclusive. In many cases a PSSA may be identified within a Special Area and vice versa.