Thursday, 21 June 2012

Australia creates world's biggest marine park

WWF welcomes the new system of marine parks
June 2012. Australia has created the world's biggest network of marine protected areas, setting an important precedent for ocean protection. 

The new system of marine parks will cover more than one third of the Commonwealth waters of Australia - a milestone that WWF has been working towards for more than 15 years. The jewel in the crown of the new network is the Coral Sea marine park that, together with the adjacent Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, will make up the world's largest marine park. 

Coral Sea no-take marine reserve
The Coral Sea no-take marine reserve, known in Australia as a national park zone, would span 500,000 square kilometres (193,000 square miles) and will be the world's second largest fully protected no-take marine reserve. This is part of a larger marine protected area in the Coral Sea, which is nearly 1 million square kilometres (386,100 square miles) in area.
WWF-Australian CEO Dermot O'Gorman said Australia has the third largest ocean territory in the world that stretches from the tropics to the sub-Antarctic, and is home to incredible creatures such as whales, dolphins, turtles and sharks as well as spectacular corals and other ecosystems.
"By declaring more than one third of its waters as marine parks, Australia has made a major advance in marine conservation that is both nationally and globally significant" Mr O'Gorman said.
"In places like the Coral Triangle and the Pacific, oceans support an incredible diversity of life and provide food security for millions of people. WWF's vision is for there to be a network of marine parks from the freezing waters of the Southern Ocean to the teeming coral reefs of the tropics. Marine sanctuaries provide areas where wildlife can feed and breed and help ensure the food security of millions of people who rely on the ocean for their daily sustenance and livelihoods.

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