Australia announces the creation of the world's largest network of marine reserves - InfoNews

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Australia announces the creation of the world's largest network of marine reserves

This graphic released by Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities shows the proposed Commonwealth marine reserves areas around Australia. Australia announced Thursday, June 14, 2012, the creation of the world's largest network of marine reserves covering 3.1 million square kilometers (1.2 million square miles) of ocean including the entire Coral Sea. Environment Minister Tony Burke said the government expects to pay an estimated 100 million Australian dollars ($100 million) to the fishing industry in compensation for the new restrictions on their operations that will take effect late this year. (AP Photo/Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities)
June 13, 2012 - 8:27 PM

CANBERRA, Australia - Australia announced on Thursday the creation of the world's largest network of marine reserves covering 3.1 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles) of ocean including the entire Coral Sea.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said the government expects to pay an estimated 100 million Australian dollars ($100 million) to the fishing industry in compensation for the new restrictions on their operations that will take effect late this year.

Highly protected areas such as the Coral Sea off Australia's northeastern coast would also be protected from oil and gas exploration.

The numbers of marine reserves off the Australian coast will be increased from 27 to 60, and cover a third of the country's territorial waters.

Burke said he wanted the reserves to set a benchmark for the world in environmental protection and food security.

"We have an incredible opportunity to turn the tide on protection of the oceans and Australia can lead the world in marine protection," he said.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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