13 new marine parks designated

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The Federal Government has announced the creation of 13 new marine parks off Australia’s south-eastern coast, totalling an area almost as big as the state of Victoria.

The parks will preserve more than 220,000 square kilometres of ocean off Victoria, Tasmania, southern New South Wales and eastern South Australia.

About one-third of the world’s marine protected areas will now be in Australian waters.

Environment Minister Senator Ian Campbell says the reserves will protect the region’s unique marine life, while still allowing for specific fishing and mining activity.

“A substantial set of marine reserves on a par with the famous Australian Government parks, such as Kakadu and Uluru,” he said.

Senator Campbell says he has also begun talks with the New Zealand Government over the creation of a trans-Tasman marine conservation strategy.