In this photo released by the PEW environment group shows a diver swimming with a turtle in this undated photo in the Coral Sea. An alliance of environmentalists, marine scientists and former navy officials on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008, asked the Australian government to establish a vast conservation area in the Coral Sea in order to protect not only marine animals and reefs but World War II history. The Pew Environment Group partnered with marine scientists and two former Australian Navy chiefs on the proposal for a 400,000 square mile (1 million square kilometer) Coral Sea Heritage Park, of the Great Barrier Reef, on Australia's northeastern coast, and would extend to the country's maritime boundaries with Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. (AP Photo/Undersea Explorer,HO) **EDITORIAL USE ONLY**

Sydney - Australian wants to create a marine park covering 900,000 square kilometres of the Coral Sea, including the Great Barrier Reef.

The Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve would be the world's largest marine park, Environment Minister Tony Burke said on Friday when releasing the blueprint for an area free from oil and gas exploration.

The area is within Australia's disputed exclusive economic zone and extends from 60 kilometres from the coast to 1,100 kilometres at its widest point.

Recreational and charter fishing would be legal in the narrow coastal corridor but not in the reserve itself.

Burke said the Coral Sea needed protection from overfishing.

“Australia has a unique opportunity to protect this precious marine environment for future generations,” he said.

The government is to hold three months of discussions on the proposal before it goes for a vote in Parliament.

Japan is among the countries disputing Australia's exclusive economic zone, carrying out whaling in parts of it in the Antarctic, which Australia criticises. - Sapa-dpa