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Australia to Create World’s Largest Marine Reserve in Coral Sea

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Coral Sea is known as one of the planet’s greatest biodiversity hotspots and if you are a bit adventurous, a trip to the Coral Sea Reefs might just be the best trip for you.

But wait, Australian government has come out with a proposal to establish the world’s biggest marine protection zone, planned to cover an area the size of Britain and France combined (989,842 square kilometers).

Found off the northeast coast of Australia, which stretches from the Great Barrier Reef to Papua New Guinea in the north and the Solomon Islands in the east, the proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve is home to many unique and endangered species. In fact, it’s one of the last remaining places brimming with large predatory fish, including sharks and tuna.

‘Only in the Coral Sea you’ll find so diverse array of coral reefs, sandy cays and deep-sea canyons,’ said Tony Burke, the Environment Minister.

Under the plan new fishing limits would be imposed and exploration for oil and gas banned.

Environmental groups think the proposal is a good start but, according to them, protection levels need to be stronger, especially in vulnerable places, to guarantee the Coral Sea’s long-term protection.

The proposal announced is now open for a 3-month comment period by the government and if the plan approved, the current world’s largest marine reserve – a 545,000 sq. km area established by the UK around the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean will no longer be the biggest.

Photo credits to 1,2,3


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