(AP) - OFF LIMITS: Australia has created the world's largest network of marine reserves and will restrict fishing as well as oil and gas exploration in a major step to safeguard the environment and access to food.
WIDE EXPANSE: Australia will protect 3.1 million square kilometers (1.2 million square miles) of ocean. The reserves will encompass a third of its territorial waters, which sustain more than 4,000 species of fish.
SENSITIVE ENVIRONMENTS: The Coral Sea off Australia's northeast coast and the adjoining Great Barrier Reef will be protected from oil and gas exploration. Both areas have shallow reefs that support tropical ecosystems.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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