What are we protecting?
In 2012, over half of the Coral Sea Marine Reserve was protected in a sanctuary zone. It was a first for Australia in creating protection across an area large enough to protect highly mobile ocean giants, such as sharks, tuna and billfish which are in dramatic decline globally. When combined with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the two reserves together make the world’s largest marine protected area, a global icon for Queensland and Australia. Now, on the Coral Sea Marine Reserve’s eastern border, New Caledonia has just set aside one of the largest protected areas in the world – the three combined creating a very special haven for Pacific marine life.
The Coral Sea Marine Reserve had strong economic benefits, containing large sanctuaries and what was 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.
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