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Bigger than Texas: Huge New Marine Park Will Protect ‘Australia’s Galapagos’


Australian Parks / YouTube

Massive new marine parks will now protect and preserve the Australian oceans surrounding Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands—home to life found nowhere else on earth.

These two parks in the Indian Ocean will protect over 287,000 square-miles of spectacular seascapes (744k square km), an area greater in size than Texas, and twice as large as the Great Barrier Reef.

Australian Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley called it a “globally significant contribution to marine conservation and a further demonstration of Australia’s leadership in ocean protection”.

“The region, which is often described as Australia’s Galapagos Islands, supports unique underwater reefs and rare aquatic species which act as a natural laboratory, helping us to understand more about the evolution of the oceans.”

60 Commonwealth marine parks around Australia are now protecting 45 percent of the island country’s territorial waters.

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Officials wanted to ensure that island fishermen could maintain their sustainable local food source and way of life.

“The offshore parts of these parks will be placed under the highest level of protection, while the inshore areas important to island communities will continue to enable sustainable fishing to occur,” said Nola Marino, the Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories.

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The government allocated $5.4 million to manage the marine parks—which is 99% offshore, and one percent inshore to support local fisheries.

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