Great Barrier Reef Granted Increased Protections
Marine protected areas will be a critical component of efforts to achieve global ecological sustainability. For so long the oceans were thought to be so massive that they were impervious to humans. Ocean dead zones, crashing fish populations and other indications have shown this to not be true. The best hope for the oceans is much as with land – allowing a substantial portion to remain in a relatively wild and protected condition in order to provide breeding grounds for species of life and continued ecosystem services. It is also likely that as with land, ocean protected zones will need to be large, connected and comprise the surrounding matrix to managed areas.
Largest No-Fishing Zone Declared in Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living organism on the planet, a colossal colony of limestone-secreting coral polyps stretching 1,430 miles (2,300 kilometers) off Australia's east coast… The reef is home to thousands of species of fish; a breeding ground for whales, seabirds, and turtles; and a favorite romping ground for dolphins. As of July 1, 2004, monumental new legislation will ban all types of extraction in one-third of the park, making it the largest fully protected stretch of ocean in the world.