The Australian government has announced plans to create a large marine park that prohibits fishing and mining.
Located between Australia and Antarctica, the marine park includes several remote islands off the country’s southeastern coast.
The announcement came from the Australian government on Sunday, he writes Danish TV 2.
The proposal includes an expansion of the existing Macquarie Island Marine Park, which will triple in size.
Bigger than Japan or Vietnam
This would protect an area of more than 475,000 square kilometers, about the size of Spain or Cameroon, and much larger than, say, Vietnam or Japan.
The marine park will be classified as a protected marine park and all fishing, mining and extraction activities will be banned in the area.
Australia’s Environment Minister, Tanya Plebersek, has stated that existing fishing activities targeting kingfish in Patagonia will be allowed to continue.
Located halfway between Australia and Antarctica, Macquarie Island is home to animal species such as king penguins and fur seals. It also operates a Subantarctic Center for Scientific Research.
Outstanding natural values
Environmental organizations have supported the government’s plan, as they fear the area could become a target for seafloor mining and unsustainable commercial fishing.
Macquarie Island was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 due to its unique natural diversity.
Macquarie Island Marine Park currently covers 162,000 square kilometers and has depths ranging from 86 to 6,341 metres.