14 Jun 2012

Australia to create marine reserve

11:23 pm on 14 June 2012

The Australian government has announced plans to create what it says will be the world's largest network of marine parks.

It will be made up of five main zones in offshore waters surrounding every state and territory, limit oil and gas exploration off Western Australia, and extend reef protection in the Coral Sea, the BBC reports.

Environment Minister Tony Burke says it is time for the world to turn a corner on protection of oceans.

The plan is unpopular with commercial and recreational fishers, who say it goes too far, and with the Green Party, which says it does not go far enough.

The Government will have to pay up to $A100 million in compensation to commercial fishers who will be locked out of some of the new marine parks.