Ross Sea Designated as World’S Largest Marine Protected Area (Download PDF)

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At a meeting in Hobart, Australia, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) agreed to a joint USA New Zealand proposal to establish Ross Sea as the MPA.

  • The protections will not decrease the total amount of fish catch allowed in the Ross Sea, but will move the industry away from the most crucial habitats close to the continent itself.
  • A historic decision to protect 1.55 million square kilometers comes after 5 years of negotiations.
Ross Sea Marine Area

History of Ross Sea Marine Protected Area

  • Beginning in 2005, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) commissioned scientific analysis and planning for Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Antarctic
  • In 2010, the CCAMLR endorsed the proposal to develop Antarctic MPAs.
  • The US State Department submitted a proposal for a Ross Sea MPA at the September 2012 meeting of the CCAMLR.
  • In July 2013, the CCAMLR held a meeting in Bremerhaven in Germany, to decide the fate of Ross Sea becoming an MPA.
  • Deal failed due to Russia voting against it, citing incompetency of the commission on establishing a marine protected area.
  • In October 2014, the proposal was again defeated at the CCAMLR by China and Russia.
  • On 28th October 2016, at its annual meeting in Hobart, a Ross Sea marine park was finally declared by the CCAMLR, through a joint agreement signed by 24 countries and the European Union.
Location of Ross Sea Marine Protected Area

- Published/Last Modified on: October 30, 2016

Science/Technology

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