Strong support for marine reserves in Australia

Published: 15/06/2012

Statement from Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman Russell Reichelt on the network of marine reserves announced by Environment Minister Tony Burke:

"We welcome Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke announcing the world's largest network of marine reserves.

"Australia has long been a world leader in marine conservation. This is a significant and important step to protect Australia's marine environment for the future.

"It comes at a time when oceans worldwide are under significant pressure from threats like climate change, declining water quality, and loss of coastal habitats.

"Australia's marine areas are not immune to these pressures.

"Over the past 35 years, we have invested considerable management effort into building the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

"This has placed it in a far better position to withstand threats to its outlook, and protecting areas adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef will have positive flow-on affects.

"Recent research shows marine reserves help restock fish populations on neighbouring reefs open to fishing.

"Research confirms marine reserves provide real benefits to the marine environment and to fisheries.

"Australia's oceans support unique plants, animals and habitats. It's vital to protect the marine environment that has strong social, cultural and economic value to Australians.

"Together the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Coral Sea Commonwealth marine reserve will become the largest adjoining marine protected area in the world."

Name: GBRMPA media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846