Protecting the Coral Sea

By Jenna Hanson 24 February 2012
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Stunning underwater images showcase the beauty of the Coral Sea in a new exhibition.

THE BREATHTAKING, ICONIC BEAUTY of the Coral Sea has been captured in a new exhibition, called ‘Our Coral Sea: Our Ocean Paradise’ at Oceanworld Manly.

The exhibition features 25 stunning photographic works by photographers Jurgen Freund, Lucy Trippett, Mark Spencer, Nicola Temple, Tyrone Canning and Xanthe Rivett, all of whom were inspired by the Coral Sea.

The exhibition is being held in support of the Protect Our Coral Sea campaign, which calls on the federal government to establish a large, world-class, highly protected marine park in Australia’s Coral Sea.

The Coral Sea

The Coral Sea is just off the east coast of Queensland and extends past the Great Barrier Reef. It’s bordered by Papua New Guinea to the north and the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu to the east.

Sydney community campaigner Beth Hill, from the Protect Our Coral Sea campaign, says the sea is a remote tropical marine jewel. “It’s a global biodiversity hotspot because of the number and diversity of reef and oceanic sharks, tuna, marlin, swordfish and sailfish found in its waters,” she says.

Marine protection for the Coral Sea?

Sadly, many of the species that inhabit the Coral Sea are in danger of becoming extinct. In fact, 341 species are featured on the Red List of endangered species, created by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The current proposal for the protection of the Coral Sea only fully protects two of the 25 reefs currently open to fishing. The Protect Our Sea campaign aims to turn the current Conservation Zone, which extends 972,000 sq. km, into a permanent marine park.

“Australia’s Coral Sea may be the world’s last great tropical ocean ecosystem where a very large highly protected marine reserve could be established and effectively managed,” says Beth.

The exhibition is on until early April, 2012 at Oceanworld in Manly, Sydney.