Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary
- 24 Oct 2019
- 2 min read
The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), is considering the proposal of creating the East Antarctic marine park, in its 38th meeting starting from 21st October 2019.
- China and Russia have been key in blocking the proposal, which was first floated by Australia, France and the European Union in 2010 before being scaled down in 2017.
- Both China and Russia have fishing interests in the region.
- The proposed park, almost a million square kilometres, would protect important foraging areas and essential food sources for emperor penguins as well as seals, whales and other seabirds.
- Rampant sailing has brought some species of the ocean like seals, whales, fish, to the brink of extinction.
- Also looming are the consequences of the changing climate. The ocean is warming, acidifying and ice shelves are thinning and collapsing.
- The consent of all 26 members of the CCAMLR is required for the creation of marine park.
- CCAMLR has previously established other major ocean Antarctic sanctuaries — including the world’s largest spanning 1.55 million square kilometres in the Ross Sea.
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
- CCAMLR was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life.
- This was in response to increasing commercial interest in Antarctic krill resources, a keystone component of the Antarctic ecosystem and a history of over-exploitation of several other marine resources in the Southern Ocean.
- It’s Secretariat is located in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.