The Australian government has moved to create two new marine protected areas that cover an expanse of ocean twice the size of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The two parks will be established around Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean to the northwest of continental Australia. The new parks, which cover to 740,000 square kilometers (286,000 square miles) of ocean, raise the protected share of Australia’s oceans from 37% to 45%. The decision was immediately welcomed by conservation groups. The Australian government has moved to create two new marine protected areas that cover an expanse of ocean twice the size of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The two parks will be established around Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean to the northwest of continental Australia. The new parks cover 740,000 square kilometers (286,000 square miles) of ocean. The decision was immediately welcomed by conservation groups. “Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands are uniquely Australian and globally significant – there’s nowhere like them on Earth,” said Michelle Grady, Director of The Pew Charitable Trusts, in a statement. “Most famous for its annual red crab migration, Christmas Island was referred […]

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