The Coral Sea is a vast marine wilderness, lying between the Great Barrier Reef and the waters off Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands. It is home to an incredible diversity of marine life, and is one of the last remaining places on Earth with healthy populations of big fish such as marlin and tuna, rare deepwater sharks and other iconic species, like the dwarf minke whale and the world’s largest fish, the majestic whale shark. It is also the site of the world’s only known black marlin spawning event.
In 2012, Australia made history by creating the world’s largest network of marine parks and sanctuaries – protecting our unique marine life, our enviable coastal lifestyle, and giving fish populations across Australia the chance to rebuild and thrive. The Coral Sea Marine Reserve was the ‘jewel in the crown’ of this network. Almost half the size of Queensland, it included a huge sanctuary for marine life and created what is effectively the largest recreational fishing zone in Australia’s history.
But in 2018, despite years of science and overwhelming community support, the Coalition Government has removed half of our National Network of Sanctuaries, including roughly half our sanctuary protection for the Coral Sea. This is the biggest cutback in protection the world has ever seen. Divers, fishers, families, businesses and communities across Australia are working to save our world-class Coral Sea sanctuary and ensure our shared ocean heritage is properly cared for.
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