November 16, 2012 was a memorable day for environment lovers when Australia announced a series of marine parks around its coast in an effort to protect the natural sea life. This announcement offers protection to an area of about 2.3 square million kilometers which extends from Perth Canyon in the south to the Great Barrier in the Coral Sea.
This declaration has put limits on oil and gas exploration as well as commercial fishing in the area but there are no restrictions for tourists, divers and for shipping. Though the move has been welcomed by environment protection groups, they feel there is lot more to be done as it does not completely ban commercial fishing off the coast of Australia.
There were widespread concerns regarding the detrimental effect of human activities leading to the possible extinction of the marine life in and around the area. The Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea Islands are one of its kind in the world and this move will help to keep the biodiversity of the marine life safe for generations to come.
It is home to a wide number of predatory fishes as well as offering breeding areas to a number of bird species like the Australian noddy and the tern. It also offers safe haven to fishes like the right whale and the humpback whale that travel vast distances during their life cycles. Besides this, these also include breeding grounds of various species of turtles, snakes, sawfish, sponges, sea squirts and so on.
Although the government claims that it would not affect recreational fishing, there are some who feel that they are being discriminated against, especially as shipping and diving has been permitted in the area. Plans are also afoot to compensate the commercial fishing industry that would be hit by these restrictions.
In all, this declaration will help to preserve the remarkable marine life that Australia has been blessed with for years to come.