In 2009, 24 countries and the European Union (EU) agreed to a bold plan to create a circumpolar network of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica by 2012. As Members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), they took the first step towards fulfilling that commitment by designating the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2016, which will come into force in December 2017. After years of stalled negotiations, this accomplishment was greeted with worldwide acclaim, and breathed new life into a global effort to protect the high seas.
The designation of the world’s largest MPA was a moment of true international cooperation and consensus. CCAMLR must now maintain this momentum to fulfill their commitment to a circumpolar network. There are three more proposals on the table. An EU proposal for an MPA in the Weddell Sea has been under consideration since 2016, and a proposal for an MPA in the Western Antarctic Peninsula, led by Argentina and Chile, is expected later this year. The final proposal, the East Antarctic Representative System of MPAs (EARSMPA), was proposed to CCAMLR in 2011 by Australia and the EU.
The current EARSMPA proposal covers three areas – MacRobertson, Drygalski and D’Urville-Mertz – each of which is an important foraging area for Antarctica’s populations of mammals and birds, including emperor and Adélie penguins.…
Friday 28 October, Hobart, Australia: The Antarctic Ocean Alliance applauds the momentous agreement by Members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to safeguard 1.55 million km2 of the Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean.
“CCAMLR made history today by declaring the world’s largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea, protecting penguins, seals, whales and countless other creatures,” said Andrea Kavanagh, who directs The Pew Charitable Trusts Antarctic and Southern Ocean work.…
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.…
If ever there was a bird ready to have its own day, it’s the dapper, deep-diving penguin. With penguins spending 75% of their lives at seas, it’s vital we protect the oceans around Antarctica, to ensure their survival for generations to come.
Fishing and marine protection don’t seem like they should get along, but our latest report demonstrates that the ocean is big enough for the both of them. Three proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean are on the table as CCAMLR delegates meet in Hobart this week. In previous years, opponents have voiced concerns that these MPAs would impact fishing in the area, but our research shows that catches can continue at sustainable rates while protecting Antarctica’s rich and wild biodiversity.
The first proposed MPA, in waters off East Antarctica, is multi-use, meaning that activities, including fishing, will be allowed to take place so long as they don’t have a negative impact on the conservation or scientific objectives. Currently, toothfish catch in these waters is relatively low. Catches are relatively small and the impact on this fishing would be minimal. There has not been krill fishing in the area for more than 20 years because the density of krill in the area is up to 80 percent lower than other Antarctic waters. Even if the area was closed to krill fishing, there would still be opportunities to catch krill outside the MPA.
The second proposed MPA in the Ross Sea, if adopted as is, would cover 1.5 million square kilometres of ocean, protecting a third of the world’s emperor penguins and around half of special type of killer whales living in the area. It would also have no significant impact on overall catch limits as fishers could relocate to catch areas north of the shelf, meaning fishing boats could continue to bring in as much catch without having to travel as far into dangerous icy waters.
By adding my name, I join millions of people around the world calling on world leaders to establish a network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves in Antarctica’s unique ocean habitats.
The 24 countries and the EU that make up the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) recently made history by protecting 1.5 million square kilometres of Antarctica’s Ross Sea. This was an historic agreement to protect international waters. However, to provide adequate protection for most of the world’s penguins, seals, and krill from the threat of climate change and overfishing, these countries must deliver on their promise to create a complete system of marine protected areas around Antarctica, with additional marine reserves in East Antarctica, the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula.
2020 marks the 200 year anniversary of the first sighting of Antarctica. It is also the year by which countries committed to protect 10 percent of the ocean globally. I join the call to celebrate Antarctica by protecting this special place for future generations.
Who is CCAMLR?
The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), made up of 24 countries and the European Union, conserves and manages Antarctic marine life. In recognition of the threats facing the region, CCAMLR has committed to establishing a network of Antarctic marine protected areas. They have an unprecedented opportunity to protect the international waters around Antarctica as a legacy for future generations.