Hobart, Australia; Friday 27th October 2017: Discussions and agreements were stalled and blocked for many Antarctic marine issues considered at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). CCAMLR was considering proposals on marine protected areas and climate change in addition to its usual work on compliance and enforcement.
A proposal put forward by Australia, the EU and France for a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in East Antarctic waters since 2010 did not gain the required consensus. Despite good faith attempts by delegations supportive of the proposal to understand and address their concerns, Russia and China could not come to an agreement with other CCAMLR Members.…
London, UK / Hobart, Australia, October 17th/18th 2017: The prestigious, international Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, hosted at the Natural History Museum in London, this evening voted Antarctic underwater photographer and explorer, Laurent Ballesta (1) Wildlife Photographer of the Year, in the Category Earth and Environment with his epic photograph of “The Iceberg”.…
Hobart, Australia, October 16th 2017: In an era of climate change and increasing pressure on Antarctic marine life, effective measures to protect Antarctic ecosystems must be agreed in the next two weeks by member states of the Commission for the Conservation of Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) (1).…
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.