The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has welcomed the announcement of world's largest network of marine reserves as an historic occasion for Australia.
NCC CEO Pepe Clarke said the new reserves, covering more than three million square kilometres, provide protection for extraordinary marine habitats around the country.
“Four new marine sanctuaries will be declared in deep waters offsore from New South Wales, protecting unique marine features like the Derwent Hunter seamount,” Mr Clarke said.
“However, closer to shore, the marine conservation outcomes for New South Wales fail to meet national conservation criteria, with no new sanctuary zones declared on the continental shelf.
“Nonetheless, today's announcement is a milestone achievement -- hundreds of thousands of ordinary Australians have raised their voices in support of marine conservation, delivering an historic conservation win for our country,” Mr Clarke said.
The establishment of the national marine reserves follows a long process, started by the Howard Government in 1998 with the release of its Oceans Policy and the creation of the South-east marine reserve network in 2007.