By Gary Thomas
Australia has planned to establish the largest network of marine protected areas in the world, including a fully protected no-take marine reserve in the Coral Sea.
The no-take marine reserve, referred as a national park zone in Australia, is a segment of a larger marine protected area in the Australia's Coral Sea, which is about 1 million km2 in area. The reserve will span 500,000 km2. Pew Environment Group has welcomed this latest initiative.
At the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Australia has emphasized that ocean management and conservation are important to the environmental health and economic prosperity of the world. Joshua Reichert, Pew Environment Group’s Managing Director, stated that Australia is once again directing the world in protecting the marine environment and wildlife in it. The development of the Coral Sea marine national park demonstrates the Australian government’s worldwide leadership in protecting ocean ecosystems.
The Coral Sea national park zone will be protected from activities, such as fishing, oil and gas exploration and mining. The creation of the reserve will also ensure the protection of over a third of its delicate coral reefs. Over 485,000 people from Australia and across the world pledged their support for the Coral Sea protection efforts. Additionally, over 300 marine researchers from 35 countries authorized the need for the Coral Sea protection.
The Pew Environment Group has partnered with Australian and global environmental organizations to safeguard the Coral Sea in Australia, as well as the northwestern, northern and southwestern marine regions of the country.