After two weeks of negotiations in Hobart, Australia on 4 November 2011 the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) adopted a conservation measure to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean.
The Commission adopted Conservation Measure 91-04 ‘General Framework for the Establishment of CCAMLR Marine Protected Areas'. Under this framework CCAMLR MPAs designated by the Commission shall be established by conservation measures with reference to this measure and following advice from the Scientific Committee.
Both New Zealand and the USA put forward proposals for an MPA in the Ross Sea region. However, neither was endorsed. Both countries then confirmed their willingness to undertake further consultation with Members and encouraged all interested parties to engage in these discussions with the intention of bringing forward proposals for MPAs to the Commission in 2012. Click here to read an earlier news item on a Ross Sea MPA.
Australia and France also presented a proposal for a representative system of MPAs for the whole East Antarctic planning domain. They expressed their intention to prepare a conservation measure for this system for consideration by the Commission in 2012.
Following a one-year break, CCAMLR's Working Group on Incidental Mortality (WG-IMAF) met in Hobart prior to this year's Commission meeting (click here).
In addition to reviewing issues associated with incidental mortality, the group also met to make recommendations on its own future, following its success in virtually eliminating seabird bycatch by legal fisheries within the CCAMLR Area.
Although CCAMLR has been very successful in addressing seabird bycatch in its area of responsibility, it was noted that seabird by-catch outside the Convention Area still presents a significant risk to Convention Area seabirds. The CCAMLR Commission encouraged all Members that are engaged in fisheries management bodies in areas adjacent to the Convention Area to implement best-practice mitigation to reduce seabird by-catch.
Observing that WG-IMAF will no longer meet annually, but on an 'as required' basis, ACAP's Executive Secretary noted that continuing close coordination between the Secretariats will be essential if ACAP is to provide expert advice on issues being addressed by the CCAMLR Scientific Committee and the Commission. The Commission endorsed the comments of the Executive Secretary.
Click here to read an advance copy of the report of the 30th Meeting of the Commission.
For more reports on CCAMLR's 2011 meetings go to:
The 2011 meetings of the CCAMLR Scientific Committee and Commission were attended by Warren Papworth, ACAP's Executive Secretary
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 24 November 2011