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Australia declares world's largest marine reserves

Published on Nov 16, 2012 6:04 AM
 
Corals are seen at the Great Barrier Reef in this Jan 2002 handout photo. Australia on Friday officially declared the creation of the world's largest network of marine reserves, protecting more than 2.3 million sq km of ocean environment. -- PHOTO : REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia on Friday officially declared the creation of the world's largest network of marine reserves, protecting more than 2.3 million sq km of ocean environment.

The announcement, after years of planning and consultation, will expand the protection of creatures such as the blue whale, green turtle, critically endangered populations of grey nurse sharks, and dugongs.

"Australia is a world leader when it comes to protecting our oceans, and so we should be, we've got responsibility for more of the ocean than almost any other country on Earth," Environment Minister Tony Burke said.

"Of the 80,000 submissions received, the vast majority of submissions were supportive of the government's plan to create the world's largest network of marine parks.

 
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