New network of marine parks in Australia
The largest network of marine parks in the world will be created by Australia by protecting a sea area as large as India, where it will ban exploration for oil and gas extraction and will impose severe restrictions on commercial fishing activities.
Australia’s marine shelters will increase from 27 to 60 under the new plan, covering more than three million square kilometers or one-third of the country’s marine waters.
“New marine shelters will be created from Perth Canyon southwest to Kangaroo Island off the southern shores of Australia but most importantly will be the protection of the Coral Sea surrounding the Great Coral Reef in northeast Australia, Environment Minister Tony Bear. “Under this plan, exploration for oil and gas extraction in marine national parks is prohibited and strict restrictions are imposed on commercial fishing activities,” he said.
However, as mentioned by the RES-EIA, environmental protection organizations argue that the actions taken do not cover the protection of marine mammals from the effects of petroleum and gas exploration in many areas. This is because entire areas of western Australia where Shell and Woodside Petroleum oil companies have been licensed for research will continue to do so.
“These are bad news for whales and dolphins because they live in many of the areas where oil activities will continue,” said Matthew Collis of the International Fund for the Protection of Animals.