Divers Supporting the Coral Sea Marine Reserve

The Coral Sea is one of the world's top dive destinations.  It is best known for its impressive shark populations, amazing soft corals and wall dives as well as it’s large schools of pelagic fish. Right now the Australian government is asking whether we want to see it protected.

Plans have been announced to create the World’s Largest Marine Reserve, alongside the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.  Please help us ensure this happens.

Ask Tony Burke to ensure the Coral Sea Marine Reserve goes ahead and to  do all he can to improve the protection for the Osprey Reef seamount.

The 'hairline' of protection applied to Osprey, Shark and Vema reefs does not give these seamounts and their reefs the protection they need to guarantee the great diving they provide into the future.

Osprey Reef is also a scientific tourism research site and the zoning in this area leaves research sites vulnerable; research shows that the shark population of Osprey Reef travels up to 9km from the seamount.  The boundary of the marine national park zone skimming the reef edge by as little as 50m in place is in no way adequate protection.

Dear Environment Minister Tony Burke,



As a concerned diver and having travelled with - or scheduled to travel with - Mike Ball Dive Expeditions, I was pleased to learn of the new marine reserve planned for the Coral Sea. However it would appear that whilst some protection has been offered to some of these world-class iconic sites, I do not think it has gone far enough.



The Coral Sea is one of the world's top dive destinations. It is best known for its impressive shark populations, amazing soft corals and wall dives as well as it’s large schools of pelagic fish.  As a scuba diver I would like to say 'thank you' for taking the important step of recognising the natural values of the Coral Sea and its importance to divers by announcing your plans to create the World’s Largest Marine Reserve, alongside the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

The Coral Sea is home to remarkable marine wildlife and landscapes that offer world-class diving, it is a 'bucket list' destination for divers.  There are few places in the world divers can travel to which has such important protection for pelagic species.

Improved protection for Shark, Vema, Osprey, Marion and Bougainville Reefs is also a great step forward although the 'hairline' of protection applied to Osprey, Shark and Vema reefs does not give these seamounts and their reefs the protection they need to guarantee the great diving they provide into the future.

Osprey Reef is also a scientific tourism research site and the zoning in this area leaves research sites vulnerable; research shows that the shark population of Osprey Reef travels up to 9km from the seamount.  The boundary of the marine national park zone skimming the reef edge by as little as 50m in place is in no way adequate protection.

My Burke, I encourage you to do all you can to improve the zoning along the western edge of Osprey, Shark and Vema reefs by moving the boundary of the marine national park zone to at least 5km west of its present location; in doing so you will further ensure a healthier future for the pelagic populations associated with these reefs as well as ensuring the continuation of support for Australian tourism from the global diving community.


Please consider these my comments on the proposal to declare a series of new Commonwealth marine reserves under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

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