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Australia to create world’s largest marine reserve

June 13, 2012
"It's time for the world to turn a corner on protection of our oceans,"
- Environment Minister Tony Burke

Australia says it will create the world's largest network of marine parks ahead of the Rio+20 summit. The reserves will cover 3.1 million sq km of ocean, including the Coral Sea.

Restrictions will be placed on fishing and oil and gas exploration in the protected zone covering more than a third of Australia's waters.

Environment Minister Tony Burke, who made the announcement, will attend the earth summit in Brazil next week with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The network of marine reserve will also include the Great Barrier Reef, a Unesco World Heritage site.

The plan will see the numbers of marine reserves off the Australian coast increased from 27 to 60.

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