Australia to Create Marine Reserve in Coral Sea

Byline: Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has announced it plans to create the world’s largest marine reserve, in the Coral Sea.

The Environment Ministry said the area has shallow reefs that support tropical ecosystems with sharks, coral, sponges and many fish species. The proposal includes seas beyond the already-protected Great Barrier Reef Marine Park off northeast Australia.

The new reserve would cover almost 400,000 square miles.

Fishing would be allowed in parts of the reserve. However, some conservationists have raised concerns such exceptions would make management of the reserve more difficult.

The proposal, announced in a ministry statement Nov. 25, is now open for a 90-day comment period.

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