Fragile ocean under scrutiny for creation of world’s largest marine park

Posted: 06/03/2012 in all marine news

Peter Lindsay –

Australia could be on the brink of making marine history. In the near future, the Federal Government will decide on the creation of a marine park system around Australia, including whether to establish the world’s largest highly protected marine national park in the Coral Sea.

This singular act would be a fitting addition to Australia’s long history of setting aside national parks to safeguard our natural wonders and unique wildlife.

It would also significantly contribute to safeguarding the health of the ocean, less than 1 per cent of which is highly protected at this time. More than a century ago, Australia created Royal National Park just 32km south of Sydney.

It is the world’s second oldest after Yellow stone in the US. This landmark decision set off a series of designations on land – and on water.

In 1975, the creation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park put Australia at the forefront of global ocean conservation.

And 10 years ago Australia again led the world by implementing the GBRMP Representative Areas Program, the most significant environmental initiative in Australia.

Once again, we have a unique opportunity with the Coral Sea to demonstrate our conservation leadership by creating a lasting ocean legacy.

Our Coral Sea is unique. It is one of the last remaining places where populations of large ocean predators – including deep-water sharks, mighty tuna and majestic marlin – have not been drastically reduced.

Scattered throughout this remote and wild sea are healthy coral reefs and atolls, as well as cays and islands that provide shelter to reef fish, turtles and seabirds.

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