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Australia to Create World’s Largest Marine Reserve

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Recently, the Australian government has come with the ‘biggest ever step’ in ocean conservation, announcing that it will create the world’s largest network of marine sanctuaries, which will cover more than 1.1 million square miles of ocean, encompassing the third of the island continent’s territorial waters. The country currently has a total of 27 marine reserves, which will increase to 60 once the new scheme is successful.

Photo by Australia to Create World’s Largest Marine Reserve

One of the advantages of the plan is that the Coral Sea off Australia’s northeastern coast and the adjoining World Heritage Site Great Barrier Reef will be protected from fishing, as well as oil and gas exploration, which is surely a major step to safeguard the environment and access to food. Both areas are blessed with amazing shallow reefs that support tropical ecosystems with corals, sponges, pelagic and many fish species.

According to Tony Burke, the country’s environment minister, the government expects to pay an estimated 100 million dollars to the fishing industry in compensation for new restrictions on their operations and limited fishing and oil drilling will be allowed in some areas, particularly off Western Australia. Currently the world’s largest reserve is a 545,000 sq km area that has been established by the United Kingdom around the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

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