Last week I attended a meeting of partners to the Protect Our Coral Sea group campaigning for a large, no-take marine park in the Coral Sea. If successful this campaign will create the world's largest marine park over an area so remote from human impacts it is one of the few remaining marine environments that is still virtually pristine.
Located adjacent to the eastern boundary of Australia's Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, a Coral Sea Marine Park could extend to the edge of Australia's territorial waters with its northern and eastern boundaries adjacent to the waters of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.
The Coral Sea is a a natural jewel, and greatly deserving of the highest protection. It is one of the few places left on earth where marine life has not been severely depleted: whale sharks; dolphins; sea turtles; marlin; sailfish; tuna, humpback, minke and killer whales; many species of seabirds; and too many invertebrates to list, many unknown to science, all call the Coral Sea home.
It also has some of the last remaining, virtually pristine coral reefs. Lying adjacent to the Coral Triangle - the global centre of marine biodiversity - the Coral Sea plays a major role as a breeding ground, a nursery and as a stepping stone that connects species on Australia's reefs with the wider Pacific Ocean.
The Australian Government will shortly announce its decision on whether this jewel is to be protected. We will then enter a 3 month consultation period, which is our opportunity to let the Australian Government know how important we think it is to protect the Coral Sea. At this time we will be asking Project AWARE supporters to tell the Aussie Government we all think it is very important!
Join the movement to make sure you have your say!