Australia has unveiled a plan to establish the world’s largest marine park. The park is to be created with the intention of protecting large areas of the Coral Sea off the north-east coast, as well as sites of World War II naval battles.
Tony Burke, Australia’s environment minister, said the marine park will cover an area about the size of Germany and France combined, and is designed to protect fish, coral reefs and nesting sites for green turtles and seabirds.
Plans for the park cover ships sunk in a series of naval battles involving US, Australia and Japan, known as the Battle of the Coral Sea. Three US ships were known to have sunk in the northeast area of the sea: the USS Lexington, USS Neosho, and the USS Sims.
According to Burke, “The environmental significance of the Coral Sea lies in its diverse array of coral reefs, sandy cays, deep sea plains and canyons. It contains more than 20 outstanding examples of isolated tropical reefs, sandy cays and islands.”
The government will finalize the limits to be established for the Coral Sea marine park within 90 days.
It’s estimated that only about 25 percent of coral in the sea is highly protected, so this marine park is expected to make a considerable difference in the much needed preservation of the world’s coral.