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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

7 June 2005

Australia leads on World Oceans Day

Australia's world leadership in ocean management and protection has been highlighted on the eve of World Oceans Day (Wednesday, 8 June) by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

Senator Campbell said the Government's strong action on whale protection is just one example of Australia's international leadership on marine environmental issues.

"Australia's world leadership in the protection and sustainable management of our marine territory has been evident from our work with the international community for a global and permanent ban on commercial whaling, the greatly increased protection of the Great Barrier Reef and the Government's pioneering program of Regional Marine Planning," Senator Campbell said.

"With one of the world's largest ocean jurisdictions, Australia has set an example for other countries in how to sustainably manage our marine resources in the interests of future generations."

Senator Campbell said while there was still much work to do, he was proud of the Australian Government's achievements in the marine environment, including:

Development of a Threat Abatement Plan for the impacts of harmful marine debris on threatened wildlife. The Government has also installed 160 gross pollution traps capturing urban debris and 23 waste reception projects in seaports and marinas as well as funding a $2 million clean-up of beaches in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and working with other responsible nations to attack the problem on-the-water and in ports. Australia urges countries to ratify and implement key international agreements and instruments; and to control and monitor the operations and activities of the vessels they flag, their ports and their nationals to ensure they operate in a responsible manner and in accordance with international law.

The assessment of management arrangements for all Commonwealth fisheries and all state fisheries exporting product by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage to ensure ecologically sustainable management of Australia's fisheries.

"As the international community focuses on challenges for the marine environment on World Oceans Day, Australian can be proud of its achievements," Senator Campbell said.

Media Contact: Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia