Station Etiquette and Regulations

Parrot fish by sponges - Nov 2010 - james garner.jpg

Please make yourself familiar with the following station etiquette policies and regulations that are in force at OIRS. 

All users are required to be aware of their obligations under the following regulations and agree to comply with those obligations whilst using station facilities.

Restricted access areas

Access to the northern end of the research station past the station office is restricted due to workplace health and safety regulations, these areas include fuel storage and workshop areas. If you require any tools and equipment from the workshop during your stay please see OIRS staff.

Reef Rehabilitation Zone

The southern end of Pioneer Bay south of the saltwater pipeline is a rehabilitation zone and extractive research in this area is not permissible. Users are asked to minimise any impact in this zone as much as possible.


All research activities must be conducted under a permit. Copies of these permits must be supplied to OIRS before any activities commence. Types of permits required can include GBRMPA research permits and Fisheries Permits.

See Also: OIRS Permit Collection Form

Ethics Approval

All research involving animals conducted by university students will require an animal research ethics permit. Copies of these permits must be supplied to OIRS prior to undertaking any research.

Chemical Management

  • Under OIRS lease conditions, chemical usage on site is strictly managed. 
  • Chemicals at all times not in use are to be stored in appropriate chemical lockers supplied by OIRS on site.
  • Chemicals must be accompanied by a current MSDS.
  • Chemicals must be contained in suitable containers labeled with chemical identification, concentration, storage and hazard conditions as per government regulations and in addition have name of research group leader on container.
  • All chemicals need to be registered in OIRS chemical manifest upon arrival.
  • No waste chemicals are to be disposed of on site, even if normally considered safe to pour down drains.
  • Any waste or unused chemicals must be taken off OIRS upon departure.

JCU Boating and Diving Register

All visitors to OIRS undertaking snorkeling, boating or diving activities must be registered on the JCU Register found at

Registration takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and requires uploading of all training certificates and licenses as well as service details on dive equipment.

Diving Etiquette

Diving at OIRS falls under the 'scientific diving' classification, which is regulated by law and carried out according to Australian standards and governed by JCU Diving Standards. 

Persons intending to undertake diving activities at OIRS must meet the following criteria:

  • An Australian recognised Occupational diver qualification (AS2815), or internationally recognised dive qualification/s of Divemaster or higher, or a minimum of an AQF Rescue diver (SROSCB007A "Performs Diver Rescues") certification.

  • Current first aid (<3 years), CPR (<12 months) and Oxygen Provider (<12 months) certificates that are recognized within the Australian Qualification Framework

  • A Dive Log Book, with dives countersigned, validating a minimum experience of 30+hrs underwater, excluding training dives.

  • A dive medical certificate to Australian Standard AS 2299 (Occupational Diver) (<12months)

  • Registration on JCU Dive Register

  • Approved JCU Dive Plan using DCIM tables

Diving Equipment

The following diving equipment must be used by each diver:

  • Wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins

  • BCD with oral and power inflation

  • Dive computer

  • Quick release dive weights

  • Diver safety kit: chemical light stick, safety sausage and whistle

  • Dive knife

Dive Teams

  • A minimum team of three is required for all normal diving activities outside Pioneer Bay (a two person dive team and a boat attendant).
  • In low risk conditions OIRS may allow diving to take place in the Pioneer bay area without a boat person.

Dive Logs

  • All dive teams must submit to OIRS a completed dive log for all dives undertaken whilst on OIRS. 
  • Dive logs and DCIM tables can be located in the issued OIRS Boat Kit and at the dive shed.

Night Diving

  • High risk dive activities such as night diving must be pre-approved by the JCU Boating and Diving Officer and OIRS Management. 
  • OIRS Management at their discretion may withdraw this permission to conduct night diving activities given prevailing conditions at time proposed. 
  • Any night diving activity must have a boat attendant and all divers must carry at minimum two light sources.

Note: Australia, Queensland and JCU regulate diving and boating activities. Requirements for residents and visitors change from time to time and intending visitors should contact the Station for current information.