Coral Sea marine national park established
On 16th November 2012, the Australian government proclaimed the Coral Sea Marine National Park as the second-largest fully protected marine reserve in the world and the largest in the domestic waters of any country. Spanning 502,238 square kilometers (193,915 square miles)—an area the size of Spain—these waters are home to one of the world’s last remaining intact tropical ocean ecosystems as well as spectacular marine life such as sharks, whales, tuna, and billfish.
“Today marks a turning point for the protection of Australia’s oceans,” said Imogen Zethoven, director of Global Ocean Legacy’s Coral Sea campaign. “Australians have always had a special relationship with our oceans. With this proclamation, Australians regain our position as a world leader in marine protection. We have said yes to a better balance between what we take from the oceans and what we conserve for the future.”
Called the “jewel in the crown” by Australia’s environment minister, the Coral Sea was part of the government’s proclamation to create the world’s largest system of marine parks around its coastline.
Global Ocean Legacy’s Coral Sea effort established a 15-member coalition of conservation groups and garnered strong Australian and international public support, generating more than half a million submissions and petition signatures, including American actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, who urged his 6.5 million Twitter followers to call for the Coral Sea’s protection.Source: Pew Environment Group, December Newsletter.