11/26/2011 - The Australian government has announced plans to create the world's largest marine nature reserve covering an area the size of Britain and France combined.
The proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve will cover 989,842 square kilometres off the country's northeast coast which stretches from the Great Barrier Reef to Papua New Guinea in the north and the Solomon Islands in the east.
However environmental groups complain that the restrictions do not go far enough.
Imogen Zethoven of the Pew Environment Group said: 'We welcome the exclusion of oil and gas extraction and the ban on fishing gear that destroys seafloor habitats.
'However, protection levels need to be stronger, particularly in vulnerable areas, to ensure the Coral Sea's long-term protection.'
Read the full article, Australia to Create World's Largest Marine Reserve in the Coral Sea, on the Daily Mail website.