Hobart, Australia, Monday October 17, 2016,: The Antarctic Ocean Alliance is calling on nations to secure the future of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean, at the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) currently meeting in Hobart, Australia.
This week, representatives from 25 governments are gathering in Hobart to address three proposed marine protected areas, amounting to more than five million square kilometers of Antarctic waters.
Mike Walker, Project Director of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance said there is growing global momentum for the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs), evidenced by President Obama’s August decision to expand the Papahānaumokuākea marine national monument near Hawaii to become the world’s largest protected area.
Scientists estimate that Antarctic and Southern Ocean currents drive life-sustaining nutrients, including krill, for three-quarters of Earth’s marine life.
“The time for action to safeguard the Antarctic’s waters, the engine room of the ocean, is now. Commitments for almost four million square kilometers of MPAs have been made in the past weeks. This is a clear indication to all the parties participating in the meeting in Hobart that there is a growing momentum for greater ocean conservation, and Antarctic’s oceans and marine life should be next,” Mike Walker said.
Andrea Kavanagh, director of Antarctic and Southern Ocean work at The Pew Charitable Trusts, added, “This year’s global meeting could result in the largest-ever protection of the high seas, and Russia is the key to reaching this goal.”
“As the chair of CCAMLR, Russia is approaching this year’s negotiations positively.”
Russia has designated 2017 as the Year of Ecology and significantly increased the size of the MPA around Franz Josef Land in the Arctic.…Continue reading »