Thanks, in part, to WDCS supporter action, the Australian government has finally announced a national network of marine reserves that has significantly increased the amount of protection offered to important habitat and migration areas for whales and dolphins in the region.
The jewel in the crown is the Coral Sea Marine Reserve and the 450,000 submissions to the government from the public, including a sizable number from WDCS supporters helped influence the decision. Your action also helped improve the level of protection, including extra sanctuary protection for key reefs, the creation of significant no-fishing zones and a total exclusion of oil and gas activities in the 500,000km² Reserve!
However, there is work to be done. While the network extends around the continent’s coastline, there are still some serious gaps in protection for whales and dolphins which need to be addressed in the final period of consultation over the next three months. Crucial blue whale feeding grounds off Kangaroo Island in South Australia have been offered minimal protection, while already being exposed to the threats of oil exploration.