Another chance to establish Marine Protected Areas in the Southern Ocean?

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting this month in Hobart, Australia (click here), will once more consider creating new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Antarctic waters.  Support from several Parties to CCAMLR already exists for the proposals as the following extracts from a statement show.

“Australia, the European Union, France, New Zealand and the United States jointly call for the establishment this year of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean, in the Ross Sea Region and in East Antarctica.

The Ross Sea and East Antarctica regions are widely recognized for their remarkable ecological and scientific importance.  The MPA proposals now before the Commission are based on sound and best available science, will provide a unique laboratory for continuation of marine research, and will have profound and lasting benefits for ocean conservation, including sustainable use of its resources.

We call on all Members of the Commission to bring years of preparation to a successful conclusion by establishing these important, science-based MPAs at the next session of the Commission in October 2013 in Hobart, Australia.”

Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses in Antarctic waters, photographed by Jiohn Chardine 

Creation of new MPAs in the Southern Ocean will help protect those species of seabirds that occur in the region, including ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels.  Although only two ACAP-listed species (Light-mantled Sooty Albatross Phoebetria palpebrata and Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus) breed within the Antarctic Treaty area, the waters of the Southern Ocean are important foraging grounds for the many ACAP-listed species that breed on sub-Antarctic islands.

Click here to access the full text of the joint statement.

Read more on the MPA proposals here and of earlier attempts to create Antarctic MPAs here.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 18 October 2013

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

About ACAP

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Hobart TAS 7000

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