SYDNEY — Australia has announced plans to create the world’s largest network of marine parks to protect ocean life, with limits placed on fishing and oil and gas exploration off the coast.
The new reserves would cover 3.1 million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles), or more than one-third of Australian waters, taking in significant breeding and feeding grounds.
Thursday’s announcement, after years of planning and consultation, came ahead of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development next week in Brazil, which Environment Minister Tony Burke and Prime Minister Julia Gillard will attend.
“It’s time for the world to turn a corner on protection of our oceans,” Burke said in the lead-up to the conference, which marks the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit that declared the environment a priority.
“And Australia today is leading that next step.” he added.
“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.”
The network will boost the number of reserves from 27 to 60, expanding protection of creatures such as the blue whale, green turtle, critically endangered populations of grey nurse sharks, and dugongs.
While some limits will be placed on energy companies, tracts of coast off Western Australia, where Shell and Woodside Petroleum recently won exploration permits, will still be open to oil and gas exploration.
Commercial fishing businesses will be hit hard, and are likely to receive millions of dollars in compensation.
“Over the coming months, the government will consult the fishing industry and fisheries management agencies on the design and implementation of a fisheries adjustment assistance package,” said Burke.
While the Australian Conservation Foundation welcomed the initiative, calling it “a historic achievement”, it was concerned that some areas remained under threat from the resources boom.
“Although the reserve network bans oil and gas exploration in the Coral Sea, the north west region has been left vulnerable to these threats,” said chief executive Don Henry.
“We will continue to work with governments, the community and other stakeholders to improve protection for areas that have not got the protection they need.”
A final consultation period of 60 days is not scheduled with the new reserves expected to be officially declared before the end of the year.
Trump campaign mocked after unveiling new red hats: ‘Do you have arm bands as well?’
President Donald Trump's 2016 "Make America Great Again" hats have been replaced with new "Keep America Great" hats.
Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale modeled one of the hats on Twitter.
Here is some of what people were saying:
Here I made an arm band design for you pic.twitter.com/inTyqVi2wo
— Christopher Goodwin (@LazarusLeBaron) August 25, 2019
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An expert on the far-right in America warned of President Donald Trump's "genuinely dangerous levels" of authoritarianism on Saturday.
Author David Neiwert posted a long Twitter thread on the commander-in-chief's "Social Dominance Orientation" -- and warned it will not end well.
Neiwert is the author of the 2017 book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.
Here is the thread he posted:
‘The Mooch’ attended Biden fundraiser in the Hamptons — because Trump ‘has lost his mind’
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CBS News reporter Ben Mitchell posted a photo of Scaramucci at the event, and subsequently interviewed "The Mooch."
Scaramucci said he was still a registered Republican, but added that Trump "has lost his mind."