Australia Announces Establishment of New Marine Reserves

Written by on November 16, 2012 in Policy & Ocean Law

Emily Tripp

Coral outcrop at Flynn Reef in the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Coral outcrop at Flynn Reef in the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Photo credit: Toby Hudson.

Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke declared on Thursday that more than 2.3 million square kilometers of ocean around Australia will be protected by new marine reserves and a $100 million fund will be established to buy out any affected fisheries.

“The declaration of these new marine reserves delivers on an election commitment and represents a major achievement for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of Australia’s oceans,” said Burke.

Burke’s success comes after nearly a decade of negotiations and federal opposition.  The Commonwealth Fisheries Association said that the establishment of marine parks would displace 77 percent of local fisheries and have a direct impact on 100 regional communities.

But, according to Burke, out of 80,000 submissions regarding the new marine parks, the majority were supportive.

“This marine park system is good for fishing because reserve areas provide the babies of the future for surrounding fisheries,” explained Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, professor at the University of Queensland.

“There has been a number of studies now that show that, when you have marine protected areas within a region, fishing goes up across the region in the protected and non-protected areas.”

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Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She is also a PADI diver and dog lover. .

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