Australia Plans World’s Largest Marine Reserve –

Posted by Michelle, June 15, 2012


SYDNEY — Australia plans to create the world’s largest network of marine reserves, encompassing a 3.1 million square kilometer patchwork of coastal waters, the government announced Thursday. The move is aimed at balancing protection for the country’s delicate reefs and marine life, which are facing growing environmental pressures, with the demands of its booming resource-driven economy.

Under the plan unveiled by Tony Burke, the minister for sustainability, environment, water, population and communities, fishing and oil and gas exploration would be restricted in nearly one-third of Australia’s territorial waters, an area of 1.2 million square miles that includes the pristine Coral Sea off the country’s northeastern coast and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. The health of that World Heritage-listed site has become a major concern, as scientists have warned that climate change and population pressures pose threats to its long-term survival.

via Australia Plans World’s Largest Marine Reserve –