The Gillard Government’s draft plan to protect the Coral Sea that falls within Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone has been released.
Unquestionably the Coral Sea is recognised as a marine region of significance across the world. The draft plan has some credibility with a high level of protection given to the eastern half and the drilling for gas and or oil banned. However the Government has seen fit to recognise charter and recreational fishing as a priority over the environment in the western side of the reserve.
You may well ask how do you protect the Coral Sea when most of the species rich coral reefs and critical spawning sites for black marlin and threatened tuna are at risk.
Look at the map! You be the judge.
The situation can easily be rectified. The solution is there. Expand the proposed marine national park to at least include significant areas of the western half of the Coral Seas capturing many of the reefs and coral. It seems incredulous that the very phenomenon the sea was named after fails to be adequately protected.
The consultation period closes on 24 February 2012. Between now and then public information sessions will be held at various centres along the coast. Visit our website. Become more informed. Make a submission. Ensure the Government amends the draft plan and affords this significant marine region the protection it deserves.
For more information on Wildlife Queensland's activities, call us on +61 7 3221 0194 or send us an email.