The Coral Sea Marine Reserve is truly an incredible win for our ocean with nearly 1 million square kilometres of deep blue water, coral reefs, and spectacular marine life.
Thousands of Care2 members have had their say on the Coral Sea, and the government has listened! Since our last campaign, more of the Coral Sea has been fully protected. Right now, we have one last chance to protect a very special place in the Marine Reserve.
Let's thank Environment Minister Tony Burke for creating a marine reserve in the Coral Sea and ask him to complete the protection of the iconic Osprey Reef by widening the marine national park zone to protect a "cleaning station" for sharks and rays. These creatures really need our help!
Your voice has worked before, so please have one more go and add your name to our new letter. Or send a message for the first time. Together, we can ensure that the final touches are added to the Coral Sea Marine Reserve to make this an ocean legacy we can all be proud of.
Dear Environment Minister Tony Burke,
Thank you! You've listened to the Protect Our Coral Sea campaign and fully protected more of Osprey Reef, one of the world's top dive sites and a haven for sharks, manta rays, and big ocean fish.
I now write one final time about the draft Management Plan for the Coral Sea. I am very supportive of the zoning arrangements in the draft plan. I respectfully ask for one key change, however.
The draft management plan, while improving protection in the north-west of Osprey Reef, reduces the level of protection in the south-west of the reef. This change has removed protection for a very important area of high ecological significance extending from the pelagic cleaning station at 'Around the Bend' (south-west of The Entrance to the Osprey lagoon) to False Entrance. This area was protected under the government's previous publicly released map.
Science shows that protection should extend 6 kilometres from the reef edge in this area, but extending it just 3 km would protect the sharks and rays that regularly come to be cleaned at 'Around the Bend' and the wildlife that aggregates nearby at False Entrance. I urge you to restore full protection to this relatively tiny area, which punches above its weight in ecological terms!
I also urge you to:
1) Delegate management of the Coral Sea Marine Reserve to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority so that it can implement its world-class compliance management system over the region.
2) Ensure new and adequate funding for implementation of the management plan.
3) Provide financial assistance to the long-line fishers who are willing to stop fishing down to 22 degrees South.
Finally, I urge you and all federal Members of Parliament to do your utmost to secure the safe passage of the Coral Sea Marine Reserve Management Plan - and the management plans for the South West, North West, North and Temperate East reserve networks - through both Houses of Parliament.
(The factual content in this letter is supplied by the Protect Our Coral Sea campaign, www.protectourcoralsea.org.au)
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Please count this as my submission to the draft Coral Sea Marine Reserve Management Plan.
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