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. “This decision shows that CCAMLR takes its role as protector of Antarctic waters seriously.”
Mike Walker, Project Director of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance, said the deal was an important milestone for ocean conservation, but urged countries to go further.
“For the first time, countries have put aside their differences to protect a large area of the Southern Ocean and international waters,” Walker said. “The limited 35-year restriction for protection of the Ross Sea contradicts the scientific advice that marine protection should be long-term. Nevertheless, we are confident that the significant benefits of protecting the Southern Ocean will soon be clear and the international community will act to safeguard this special place long into the future.”
The Ross Sea is one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the world, home to penguins, Weddell seals, Antarctic toothfish, and a unique type of killer whale.…
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.…
HOBART, 30 October 2015 – The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has again failed to agree to protect key areas in the Ross Sea and in East Antarctica at its annual meeting in Hobart.
However, a statement of support by China for a revised Ross Sea Proposal– which has in past years actively blocked this proposal, and a statement of commitment by Russia for inter-sessional discussion of the proposal, has given hope to a process that has thus far been clouded by inaction, uncertainty and active blocking.…
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.
I know that the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has agreed to create a network of marine protected areas in the ocean around Antarctica. As a global citizen concerned about our environment I very much care about the decisions you are about to make.
As this area represents 10% of the world’s seas and is the most untouched ocean environment left on earth, I have joined the Antarctic Ocean Alliance “Watch” to track CCAMLR’s developments on this throughout the year.
I call on CCAMLR to establish a large-scale network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves to protect Antarctic’s key ocean habitats while we still can. With growing threats from overfishing and climate change, I urge you to be as bold as those who, in 1991, protected Antarctica from minerals development. Please take action now to give her oceans the additional protection they need from the threats they now face.
As CCAMLR is a body that meets with limited public participation and no media access, I feel it’s important to speak out for these unique global commons areas and to call for the widest possible protection for Antarctica’s oceans. I’ll be watching, taking action and asking my networks to do the same.
Please do the right thing and protect Antarctica’s oceans 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.