Friday, January 13, 2012

Coral Sea Marine Park

The Australian Government is considering submissions to its Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve proposal. The proposal is seen by many leading scientists as insufficient to properly protect the area from fishing and other impacts (e.g. here and here).

Should the park go ahead as it is currently proposed it will be the largest marine park ever established. But, less than half of it will be given full protection and this area is the part furthest from shore and already the least impacted by commercial and recreational fishing.

Overfishing is a significant threat to coral reefs and is likely to decrease the resilience of coral reefs to climate change1. It would be good to get greater protection of this area from fishing activities. If you would like to contribute go here for a guide to writing a submission, or go here to view the proposal. The consultation process ends on February 24, 2012.

1 Pandolfi, J. M., Connolly, S. R., Marshall, D. J., Cohen, A. L. Projecting Coral Reef Futures Under Global Warming and Ocean Acidification. Science 333 no. 6041, 418-422, doi:10.1126/science.1204794 (2011).

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