Australia’s Coral Sea, located east of the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef, made history in 2012 following its designation as the world’s second-largest highly protected marine reserve. At 502,238 square kilometers (193,915 square miles), the Coral Sea Marine National Park safeguards critically important marine life such as whales, sea turtles, sharks, and coral reefs.
The Coral Sea’s designation was part of a visionary decision by the Australian government to create the world’s first and largest national network of marine parks. With the third largest ocean territory in the world, Australia’s decision contributes significantly to global ocean conservation.
Pew, through its Global Ocean Legacy project and in collaboration with many organizations and individuals from Australia and around the world, led efforts to secure the highest level of protection possible for the Coral Sea. Leading tropical marine scientists, former chiefs of the Royal Australian Navy, local communities, and conservation groups from across Australia came together to ensure recognition of the Coral Sea. More than 40,000 Australians from all walks of life, including 2,500 recreational fishers, voiced their support for the Coral Sea Marine National Park.
Pew’s Outback Australia program also spearheaded efforts with many collaborators to safeguard unique and important marine life found in other critical Australian waters. These efforts contributed to Australia’s establishment of the world’s first and largest national network of marine parks in its waters.
The Australian government is currently reviewing the protective zoning for the Coral Sea Marine National Park and other marine parks that form its new national network. We are working with the government, stakeholders, and the public to ensure that these parks are protected as promised.
Through the Protect Our Coral Sea campaign, Pew’s Global Ocean Legacy team is working with the following Australian conservation organizations to help safeguard the Coral Sea for the future:
- Australian Conservation Foundation
- Australian Marine Conservation Society
- Human Society International (Australia)
- International Fund for Animal Welfare
- Project AWARE Foundation
- Queensland Conservation Council
- Cairns and Far North Environment Centre
- National Parks Association of Queensland
- North Queensland Conservation Council
- Wildlife Queensland
- WWF – World Wildlife Fund
- WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation)
About Global Ocean LegacyGlobal Ocean Legacy, a project of Pew and its partners, is working with local communities, governments and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments. Together we are establishing the world’s first generation of great marine parks by securing the designation of large, fully protected reserves. To date, our efforts have helped to double the amount of safeguarded ocean habitat worldwide.
Where We Work
Global Ocean Legacy works with local communities, governments and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments.