Conserving the Southern Ocean: CCAMLR to hold Marine Protected Area meetings in Germany this month

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is an intergovernmental organization established by international treaty in 1982 and forms part of the Antarctic Treaty System.

From 11-16- July 2013 CCAMLR will hold Special Meetings of both its Scientific Committee and Commission in Bremerhaven, Germany, to discuss Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean.  The Commission meeting will be only the second time in CCAMLR’s 32-year history that it has met outside its normal annual meeting held in Hobart, Australia.  It will also be the first intersessional meeting of the Scientific Committee.  The meetings follow on from the 31st Annual Meeting of the Commission held last year which did not attain consensus on MPA proposals (click here).

The Bremerhaven meetings are being convened specifically to continue discussions on two proposals for the establishment of MPAs in the Convention Area.  One proposal has been submitted by New Zealand and the USA (the Ross Sea MPA proposal).  The second proposal has been submitted by Australia, France and the European Union (the East Antarctica MPA proposal) and proposes seven separate MPAs.

The Ross Sea MPA proposal covers 2.3 million square kilometres (with a no-take area for Antarctic Toothfish of just under 1.6 million km²) and if agreed to would become the World's largest MPA (click here).

Southern Giant Petrel: an Antarctic breeding species.  Photograph by Warwick Barnes

Only two ACAP-listed species (Light-mantled Sooty Albatross Phoebetria palpebrata and Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus) breed within the Antarctic Treaty area, but the waters of the Southern Ocean are also important foraging grounds for the many ACAP-listed species that breed on sub-Antarctic islands.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 6 July 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

ACAP Secretariat

119 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000

Tel: +61 3 6165 6674