Monday, June 18, 2012

Good news: Papahanaumokuakea is now number two.

The good news is that Hawai`i's Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument was established as the largest marine preserve of its kind in the world.

The other good news for global ocean conservation is that we've just become number two.

(Image: The complex array of marine protected areas around Australia. Credit: Commonwealth of Australia.)

Australia has announced a new no-take marine reserve in the Coral Sea, which covers a massive region of ocean. It takes in some existing protected ocean and adds more. The protected species include some of the same ones protected by Papahanaumokuakea, like the green sea turtle, many fish species, reefs, and seabirds.

A press release on the Australian announcement, from the Pew Environmental Group, is here

“The Coral Sea no-take marine reserve, known in Australia as a national park zone, would span 503,000 square kilometers (194,000 square miles) and will be the world’s second largest fully protected no-take marine reserve. This is part of a larger marine protected area in the Coral Sea, which is nearly 1 million square kilometers (386,100 square miles) in area,” Pew says.

By constrast, Papahanaumokuakea is 140,000 square miles. More on it, here.

Australia itself says it amounts to a big chunk of water: “Once proclaimed under Australia’s national environment law, the Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve will protect the waters of the Coral Sea that fall within Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This area covers approximately 989,842 square kilometres—which is more than half the size of Queensland.”

And for those with a more European geographical leaning, that's about the size of Spain. Here'sAustralia's proposal for the reserve

© Jan TenBruggencate 2012

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