Sanctuaries, tourism, business and fishing
Sanctuaries for fishing
The Coral Sea sanctuaries are more than 200 km offshore from the nearest fishing port. The area most accessible from mainland Australia lying next to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park – almost half a million square kilometres – would remain open to recreational fishers.
While containing Australia’s largest marine sanctuary, the Coral Sea Marine Reserve allows some continued use, including what is effectively the largest recreational fishing zone in Australia’s history.
Around 200,000 square kilometres of the marine reserve declared in 2012, including world-renowned fishing grounds for pelagic gamefish like black marlin, were set to become the exclusive site of recreational and charter fishing targeting tuna and billfish, in waters protected from commercial long-lining and purse seining for these species.
Tourism and business
Marine reserves have strong economic benefits. The Coral Sea already has a reputation as a pristine dive site and is increasingly attracting marine wildlife tourism. There are major tourism opportunities by having the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage listed Marine Park and the Coral Sea Marine Reserve side by side. Both areas deliver a very different experience, but combined will deliver a boost for North Queensland tourism. Marine sanctuaries can also help to repopulate fish stocks in areas outside the protected zones, benefiting both the commercial and recreational fishing industries.
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