Australia is set to take an historic step for marine protection by establishing the largest network of marine reserves in the world.
It could be a stunning achievement that would protect many of Australia's most important offshore underwater features and places where marine wildlife feeds and breeds.
But your help is needed to make this a reality.
We are very close to securing these crucial marine habitats. The Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has already outlined the system of proposed marine parks, but Australian law requires that the government seek comment from the community before finalising the boundaries of these marine parks.
With your help we can ensure the passage of these historic marine parks, and also make a final push for the government to safeguard some of Australia's most critical marine environments that have been not been adequately protected, like key areas around the breathtaking Rowley Shoals, Ningaloo Reef and south coast of WA, and in the Coral Sea and Top End.
Send your message of support for our marine wildlife to our government!
Every message counts towards making this historic proposal a reality.
It is an important and historic step forward for marine conservation and I endorse the reserve proposal as outlined in the Government Gazette on 11 July 2012.
In addition I would ask that you make improvements to the national network, including the following:
- In the Coral Sea, ensure the whole of the seamounts of Osprey, Shark and Vema Reefs are included in the large marine national park;
- In the southern Coral Sea, extend the boundary of the marine national park further south to the 22nd parallel, including Marion, Frederick and Wreck Reefs;
- Off WA's South Coast, upgrade the marine park off Walpole from Special Purpose Zone to Multiple Use Zone;
- Off Kangaroo Island, SA, upgrade the marine park to exclude oil drilling;
- At the Rowley Shoals, off the Kimberley, WA, ensure all four shoals are included in reserves and upgrade the multiple use zone to a marine national park;
- Off Ningaloo Reef, WA, upgrade the multiple use zone to a marine national park at the heads of Cloates and Cape Range canyons and change the habitat protection zone to a marine national park at Gnaraloo; and
- In the North, off the NT upgrade part of the marine reserves in Limmen Bight and the Arafura Canyons to marine national park.
- In Britannia Seamount off NSW upgrade the marine reserve to marine national park.
Please consider these my comments on the proclamation of the proposal to declare the final Commonwealth marine reserves.