News Summary: Australia expands marine reserves

AP News
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Posted: Jun 14, 2012 11:42 AM
News Summary: Australia expands marine reserves

OFF LIMITS: Australia has created the world's largest network of marine reserves and will restrict fishing as well as oil and gas exploration in a major step to safeguard the environment and access to food.

WIDE EXPANSE: Australia will protect 3.1 million square kilometers (1.2 million square miles) of ocean. The reserves will encompass a third of its territorial waters, which sustain more than 4,000 species of fish.

SENSITIVE ENVIRONMENTS: The Coral Sea off Australia's northeast coast and the adjoining Great Barrier Reef will be protected from oil and gas exploration. Both areas have shallow reefs that support tropical ecosystems.