High officials recently informed the press that, after due consideration and careful planning, more than one-third of Australian waters are to become marine parks.
As a result, animal species such as the dugong, the blue whale, the gray nurse shark and the green turtle will fall under the law's protection.
Presently, local fishing and oil / gas exploration companies argue with environmentalists over the benefits and the downfalls of this new status quo.
Thus, both commercial fishers and energy industries here are expected to have their budgets highly affected by this decision.
Rumor has it that they will receive significant financial compensations in exchange for no longer being allowed to carry on with their activities in these waters, but complaints are still being raised.
The fact remains that, as far as they are concerned, adding 33 more marine reserves to Australia's present number of 27 is basically an abuse of administrative power.
However, it seems that some companies, such as Shell and Woodside Petroleum were given the “green” light to continue drilling for gas and oil in the area.
On the other hand, environmentalists claim that squeezing in an extra 33 marine parks off the Australian coast simply won't do. This decision can indeed be classified as a good beginning as far as marine wildlife preservation goes, but there is still a long way to go.
As Raw Story
reports, Don Henry, one of the leaders of the Australian Conservation Foundation, explained that “Although the reserve network bans oil and gas exploration in the Coral Sea, the north west region has been left vulnerable to these threats.”
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Environment Minister Tony Burke display an optimistic attitude towards the future and believe that “This new network of marine reserves will help ensure that Australia’s diverse marine environment, and the life it supports, remain healthy, productive and resilient for future generations.”