A marine park is a park consisting of an area of sea (or lake) sometimes protected for recreational use, but more often set aside to preserve a specific habitat and ensure the ecosystem is sustained for the organisms that exist there. Most marine parks are designated by governments, and organized like 'watery' national parks.
The largest marine park used to be the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia, at 350,000 km² until 2010, when the United Kingdom announced the opening of the Chagos Marine Park or Chagos Archipelago.
Although for many uses it is sufficient to designate the boundaries of the marine park and to inform commercial fishing boats and other maritime enterprises, some parks have gone to additional effort to make their wonders accessible to visitors. These can range from glass-bottomed boats and small submarines, to windowed undersea tubes.
In New South Wales, there are planned marine parks which will stretch along the coastline of the entire state.
List of marine parks
- Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park, Albania
- Iroise Marine Park, Brittany, France
- Zakynthos Marine Park, Greece
- Alonnisos Marine Park, Greece
- Kosterhavet National Park, Bohuslän, Sweden
- Ytre Hvaler National Park, Norway
- Færder National Park, Norway
- Jomfruland National Park, Norway
- Raet National Park, Norway
- Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales
As of April 2008 there are no high seas marine reserves, but Greenpeace is campaigning for the "doughnut holes" of the western pacific to be declared as marine reserves. They are also campaigning for 40 percent of the world’s oceans to be protected as marine reserves.
Commonwealth of Australia
The Australian Government manages an estate of marine protected areas (MPA) that are Commonwealth reserves under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
- Ashmore Reef Marine National Nature Reserve
- Cartier Island Marine Reserve
- Cod Grounds Commonwealth Marine Reserve
- Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve
- Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve
- Great Australian Bight Commonwealth Marine Reserve
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
- Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve
- Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve (Coral Sea Island Territory)
- Lord Howe Island Marine Park (Commonwealth Waters)
- Macquarie Island Marine Park
- Mermaid Reef Marine National Nature Reserve
- Ningaloo Marine Park (Commonwealth waters)
- Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (Commonwealth Waters)
- South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network
New South Wales
- Eastern Spencer Gulf Marine Park
- Encounter Marine Park
- Far West Coast Marine Park
- Franklin Harbor Marine Park
- Gambier Islands Group Marine Park
- Investigator Marine Park
- Lower South East Marine Park
- Lower Yorke Peninsula Marine Park
- Neptune Islands Group Marine Park
- Nuyts Archipelago Marine Park
- Sir Joseph Banks Group Marine Park
- Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park
- Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park
- Thorny Passage Marine Park
- Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park
- Upper South East Marine Park
- Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park
- West Coast Bays Marine Park
- Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park
The state of Victoria has protected approximately 5.3% of coastal waters. In June 2002, legislation was passed to establish 13 Marine National Parks and 11 Marine Sanctuaries. Victoria is the first jurisdiction in the world to create an entire system of highly protected Marine National Parks at the same time. Additional areas are listed as Marine Parks or Marine Reserves, which provides a lower level of protection and allows activities such as commercial and recreational fishing.
The marine national parks are:
- Bunurong Marine National Park
- Cape Howe Marine National Park
- Churchill Island Marine National Park
- Corner Inlet Marine National Park
- Discovery Bay Marine National Park
- French Island Marine National Park
- Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park
- Point Addis Marine National Park
- Point Hicks Marine National Park
- Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park
- Twelve Apostles Marine National Park
- Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park
- Yaringa Marine National Park
- Enipein Pah, near Pohnpei
Papua New Guinea
- Papua Barrier Reef
- Jones, Nicola (2011). "Little Mexican reserve boasts big recovery". Nature. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
- "The Pacific Commons -- first high seas marine reserve?". Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
The Western and Central Pacific Ocean is the world's largest tuna fishery. Over half of the tuna consumed worldwide is taken from this area. Rampant overfishing is destroying this fishery; relatively healthy just a few years ago. Today, two key Pacific species, Bigeye and Yellowfin could face collapse unless urgent action is taken.
- "Marine reserves". Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
A growing body of scientific evidence that demonstrates what we at Greenpeace have been saying for a long time: that the establishment of large-scale networks of marine reserves, urgently needed to protect marine species and their habitats, could be key to reversing global fisheries decline.
- "MARINE PARKS ACT 2007: SECTION 14" (PDF). The South Australian Government Gazette. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- Victoria’s System of Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries. Management Strategy 2003–2010 (PDF), Parks Victoria, 2003, retrieved 2012-02-04
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marine parks.|