Australia’s Marine Reserve Network

On June 13, 2012, Tony Burke, Australia’s environment minister, announced the country’s plans for the world’s largest marine reserve.
On June 13, 2012, Tony Burke, Australia’s environment minister, announced the country’s plans for the world’s largest marine reserve, encompassing the entire Coral Sea and adjoining Great Barrier Reef. Oil and gas drilling and fishing will be largely restricted from the reserve to allow marine life to recover. Some 3.1 million square kilometers of ocean waters under Australia’s jurisdiction will be protected, a third of Australia’s territorial waters. The world’s protected ocean area will nearly double as a result of this commitment.

The Pew Environmental Group, a member of Pew Charitable Trusts, created this video to show the species that will be protected, including sharks, corals and a host of fish.

The areas will be safeguarded by the end of the year and the reserve represents a huge environmental victory for one of the world’s most vulnerable marine ecosystems.