Australia declares world's largest marine reserves

November 15, 2012
A Minke whale surfaces in the ocean off the coast near Sydney in 2010. Australia Friday officially declared the creation of the world's largest network of marine reserves, protecting more than 2.3 million square kilometres (0.89 million square miles) of ocean environment.

Australia Friday officially declared the creation of the world's largest network of marine reserves, protecting more than 2.3 million square kilometres (0.89 million square miles) of ocean environment.

The announcement, after years of planning and consultation, will expand the protection of creatures such as the , , critically endangered populations of grey nurse sharks, and dugongs.

"Australia is a world leader when it comes to protecting our oceans, and so we should be, we've got responsibility for more of the ocean than almost any other country on Earth," Environment Minister Tony Burke said.

"Of the 80,000 submissions received, the vast majority of submissions were supportive of the government's plan to create the world's largest network of marine parks.

"The declaration of these new delivers on an election commitment and represents a major achievement for the long term conservation and sustainable use of Australia's oceans."

The declaration came despite opposition from fishermen who claimed would be ruined, thousands of jobs lost and the Aus$2 billion (US$2 billion) aquaculture industry seriously impacted.

Burke said he understood his decision would have an impact and said businesses affected by the changes would be able to access Aus$100 million in assistance.

"Even though the new marine reserves have been designed in a way to minimise impacts on industry and recreational users, the government recognises that there will be impacts on some fishers and we will support those impacted," he said.

Explore further: Australia to create world's largest marine parks

Related Stories

Australia to create world's largest marine parks

June 14, 2012

Australia on Thursday announced plans to create the world's largest network of marine parks to protect ocean life, with limits placed on fishing and oil and gas exploration off the coast.

Australia plans world's largest marine reserve

November 25, 2011

The Australian government has said it plans to establish the world's biggest marine protection zone to safeguard a huge swathe of the Coral Sea, a biodiversity hotspot brimming with life.

Recommended for you

Carbon coating gives biochar its garden-greening power

October 20, 2017

For more than 100 years, biochar, a carbon-rich, charcoal-like substance made from oxygen-deprived plant or other organic matter, has both delighted and puzzled scientists. As a soil additive, biochar can store carbon and ...

Cool roofs have water saving benefits too

October 20, 2017

The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun's energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study ...

Study finds pollution is deadlier than war, disaster, hunger

October 20, 2017

Environmental pollution—from filthy air to contaminated water—is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.