An Antarctic icebreaker sails past a penguin. But conservationists are still waiting for their own breakthrough.
John B. Weller
Australia is among nations calling for a 1 million square km marine park off East Antarctica. But Russia and China remain opposed, and a recent summit yet again failed to seal the deal.
Would you pay more if you thought it would help?
Is Australia undervaluing its most valuable natural asset by only charging $6.50 a day to visit the Great Barrier Reef? And would it help if tourists were asked to pay more?
Ern McQuillan, Tuna Fishing at Eden, New South Wales, 1960.
National Library of Australia
The history of fisheries exploitation in Australia reveals a staggering natural bounty, which has been alarmingly fragile without proper management.
The science says that no-take zones offer the best protection for marine life.
AAP Image/Environs Kimberley
Australia's reputation as a global leader in marine conservation is being put at risk by plans to strip back sanctuary areas within marine parks, say scientists from around the globe.
Orca family group at the Bremer Canyon off WA’s south coast.
The government aims to dramatically reduce the areas offered full protection and expand zones where fishing is allowed, while also claiming that this will still deliver good conservation.
Next year the Ross Sea will be home to the world’s largest marine reserve.
Andrew Mandemaker/Wikimedia Commons
After years of stalled negotiations, China has ended its opposition to the world's largest marine park off Antarctica - part of a wider trend towards increased Chinese involvement in global governance.
Marlin are one of the prized fish in Australia’s oceans.
Marlin image from www.shutterstock.com
Australia's oceans would be less protected under recent recommendations.
Fishing is a vital part of Australia’s coastal towns.
Many of the iconic coastal villages of Australia have a close association with professional fishing.
A booby family on a sandy cay in the Coral Sea.
The marine reserves review has recommended major changes to the Coral Sea, but not for the better.
Closing parts of the ocean to fishing displaces fishers to other areas.
Tuna image from www.shutterstock.com
The public and political debate about marine reserves often comes down to one thing: fishing.
Australia’s oceans are home to extraordinary marine life.
Australia has the third largest marine jurisdiction in the world, a vast ocean territory that contains important natural and biological resources. And it needs protecting.
We’ve filled our oceans with concrete.
Sea wall image from www.shutterstock.com
We've building in the sea for centuries, and it's putting our oceans out of balance.
Australia’s oceans are feeding grounds for many wildlife species, including seabirds.
More of Australia's oceans should be placed under high protection, according to the latest marine reserves review.
Cartier Island marine reserve is part of a network that covers one-third of Australian waters.
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Marine parks need to cover large swathes of ocean, but they also need to cover the right areas if they are to deliver the best conservation. New research off Australia's northwest suggests how.
The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long sails from Fremantle Harbour on its way home from Antarctica.
Australia and China both have a keen interest in the frozen continent. And while they don't agree on everything, there is great scope for scientific collaboration.
Pristine coral on the Great Barrier Reef.
Photo copyright Tom Bridge
Banning fishing helps fish, but it also helps reef recover from cyclones, disease, and coral bleaching.
The oceans are teeming with life and potential – but the high seas are still largely ungoverned.
The open oceans are the world's "wild west", falling outside any nation's jurisdiction. UN negotiations are aiming to draft new laws for the high seas.
The next cancer breakthrough could be found in international waters – but who's in charge of the high seas?
Everyone knows the big heads but island's sea life is also spectacular – and unique.
Marine parks are valuable tools to help safeguard species such as seagrasses.
AAP Image/James Cook University
Australia's network of marine parks - a decade in the making and announced in 2012 - haven't been implemented yet, and the Abbott government has already placed the plans under review. Why the hurry?