SCIENTISTS are calling for a planned Kimberley marine park to have the same level of protection as the Great Barrier Reef.
The 100 scientists, backed by three of the nation’s leading marine science organisations, want high-level protection for the marine reserves that will collectively form the Great Kimberley Marine Park.
The protection would include a ban on fishing in roughly a third of the five planned reserves, in an effort to secure the future of “some of the most remarkable and pristine reefs” in Australia and to boost the local economy through tourism.
In a statement released on Sunday, the scientists warned the State Government to act now while the region was still pristine.
They say alongside the Arctic and Antarctica, the Kimberley is one of only three near-pristine ocean areas left in the world, is home to six of the world’s seven marine turtle species and a breeding ground for 22,000 humpback whales.