AUSTRALIA will declare the world's biggest marine reserve - with the Coral Sea the jewel in the crown - on top of a AU$100 million buy-out for the besieged fishing industry according to the Herald Sun.
Furious commercial fishers and charter operators say the move to protect more than 2.3 million sq km of ocean in marine parks will doom their trade and end in a skyrocketing price and more imported seafood for consumers.
However Protect Our Coral Sea and marine conservation groups such as the Pew Foundation welcomed the proclamation as "one of the most significant" in the nation's conservation history.
Under the plan, no new "on-the-water" changes will come into effect until July 2014 after the next federal election, after which the Coalition has promised to revoke any declaration should it win government.
The average recreational angler in a runabout is unlikely to be affected with the closest new "no-go zones" 440km out from Brisbane, 330km from Townsville, and 210km from Cairns.
Commercial operators in the Coral Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria including tuna long-liners and prawn trawlers out of Mooloolaba, Cairns and Karumba, will negotiate over a $100 million fisheries adjustment package.
"Australia is a world leader when it comes to protecting our oceans," Mr Burke said.
"And so we should be, we've got responsibility for more of the ocean than almost any other country on Earth.
"Many of the world's endangered marine animals including green turtle, blue whale, southern right whale, Australian sea lion and the whale shark are found in these protected waters," Mr Burke said.
Most of 80,000 submissions supported the national marine network plan - that will eventually cover an area roughly equal to Australia's land mass, he said.
Catch-and-release fishing practised by the marlin fishing game boats will still be allowed in the Coral Sea except in the designated green zone over the eastern half of the proposed marine park.
Outraged third-generation aquarium collector Lyall Squire Jnr, of Cairns Marine, said the decision had the potential to put his family-owned $6 million-a-year company out of business.
"We have grave fears for our survival, worse, this is not about science," said the director of Australia's largest aquarium supplier, who exports marine species including iconic clown fish, sharks and rays to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America.
"We don't want their money, we just want access," said Mr Squire, who operates two 22m vessels, 10 divers and a staff of 30.
Dive operator Mike Ball, who runs dive expeditions into the Coral Sea, said protecting the remote but pristine reefs was a boon for the tourist industry, which

Blueblotch Butterfly. Image B. Gratwicke

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 Richard Aspinall

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Richard lives in Scotland where he works as a freelance writer and photographer. Richard writes for several magazines on topics as diverse as scuba diving, travel and wildlife.