World’s biggest marine parks in Australia

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CANBERRA: Australia is heading towards the creation of marine parks network in the whole world.

The park is expected to cover 3.1 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles) area where there are the major breeding and feeding grounds of marine life.

The government has banned the drilling and mining for oil and gas exploration. The reports say that Australia’s marine reserves, in this way, will increase from 27 to 60.

New reserves are going to be established from Perth Canyon to Kangaroo Island but “jewel in the crown” is to safeguard the Coral Sea area around the Great Barrier Reef, said Tony Burken the Environment Minister.

“The Coral Sea marine national park … combined with the Great Barrier Reef area becomes the largest marine protected area in the world,” Burke told.

Burke acknowledged the plan would also have an impact on the fishing industry. The plan attracted immediate criticism from some environmental groups, as well as independent and opposition politicians and lobby groups.

“This is devastating and those that will suffer most will be coastal communities,” Dean Logan, chief executive of the Australian Marine Alliance, said to a TV newsperson.

“The boundaries the minister has determined have been very strongly determined on oil and gas prospectivity, and clearly determined by lobbying from the oil and gas sector,” Rachel Siewert, the Greens’ marine spokeswoman, said to reporters.

Australian government delayed the environmental approval for the coal project (worth US$9.7 billion) proposed by an India company.


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