Tonight, the Australian House of Representatives voted YES to the Coral Sea Marine Reserve, and YES to the other new marine parks around Australia. After the Coalition moved to disallow the management plans, the government brought on a debate and vote on the issue, and succeeded in voting down the disallowance. The plans are yet to pass through the Senate, however their passage there is considered to be safe. Australia’s new marine parks are the culmination of an extensive process that started 15 years ago, and are truly an achievement all Australians can be proud of.
The Coral Sea Marine Reserve includes the largest highly protected area in the domestic waters of any country in the world. Other features include: exclusion of oil and gas extraction throughout the entire area; a ban on mid-water trawling; destructive sea-floor trawling removed from more than 99% of the reserve; and more than 70% of the reserve will be protected from longline fishing. Protecting this special part of Australia will provide a globally significant ocean legacy for generations to come.