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Macquarie Island Marine Park to Triple in Size
By DPG Editorial Staff, June 7, 2023 @ 09:00 AM (EST)
Source: CNN

In a move welcomed by environmental groups, Macquarie Island Marine Park is set to triple in size after Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek’s decision to place an extra 385,000 square kilometres of Australia’s oceans under high protection. The remote marine park, which is halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica in the Southern Ocean, will have a total area of 475,465 square kilometers, or about 184,000 square miles—that’s an area larger than Germany. According to the Australian Government’s media release, around 93% of the park will be “completely closed to fishing, mining and other extractive activities.”

A site of outstanding geological and natural significance, the World Heritage-listed Macquarie Island and its surrounding waters are a sanctuary for millions of vulnerable seabirds and animals, including whales, elephant and fur seals, and endemic royal penguins, among other penguin species.

The Australian Government signed off on the marine park design following two months of public consultation, with over 14,700 submissions that were 99% in support. The proposal accommodates the existing commercial Patagonian toothfish fishery, which is “relatively well-managed and sustainable,” according to Fiona Maxwell, national oceans manager for the Pew Charitable Trusts, who declared that the park expansion gives Macquarie Island’s marine life “the protection it deserves.”

Read more here.



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