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Half measures for Coral Sea protection

25 November 2011 - Only half of the Coral Sea is proposed to be fully protected in the Government’s draft plan released today, which is a missed opportunity to create the world’s largest marine national park, Queensland Senator and Coral Sea spokesperson Larissa Waters said.

“The Coral Sea is the birthplace for many special and threatened marine species, and nearly 70 per cent of Queenslanders support turning the entire area into a fully protected marine national park,” Senator Waters said.

“However, the Government’s proposed plan is for a multi-use marine reserve instead which doesn’t go far enough, and is piecemeal with only two reefs out of 25 in the Coral Sea set to receive full protection.

“To protect the region as a whole instead of creating a Swiss cheese of different use zones would make it much easier for the Government to manage and monitor the area.

“Of the handful of commercial fishers operating in the Coral Sea most are willing to be bought out, and the Greens will push in our Budget negotiations with Government for appropriate compensation to end commercial fishing and create one large protected area.

“We welcome the proposed ban on oil and gas mining, sea bed trawling and gillnet fishing throughout the Coral Sea.

“I encourage all Australians to use this 90-day public comment period and tell the Government to take this opportunity to fully protect our unique Coral Sea.”

 

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