Commission welcomes agreement on innovative measures at meeting on the conservation of Antarctic marine resources
The European Commission has welcomed the positive outcome of the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which has now concluded its deliberations in Tasmania, Australia.
CCAMLR has taken some important strides forward in a number of areas. Thus, CCAMLR agreed on the setting up of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) near the South Orkneys islands. This is a true milestone, since it is the first time that an organisation dealing with conservation of marine living resources has designated a Marine Protected Area under its competence on the high seas. This move was made on the basis of a joint EU-United Kingdom proposal and a recommendation from the CCAMLR Scientific Committee.
Another joint EU-UK proposal led to the adoption of a resolution on climate change. The resolution expresses CCAMLR concerns as to the impact of climate change on southern ocean ecosystems and their biodiversity and urges an effective global response to this issue. This resolution will be forwarded to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and is of particular importance ahead of next month's UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
In other developments, the CCAMLR adopted a conservation measure on systematic observer coverage for the krill fishery. This measure was also the first of its kind and based on an EU proposal. In addition, an interim measure will regulate the spatial intake of krill.
The Commission regrets that, once more, its proposed trade measure designed to fight illegal fishing activities was not adopted. However, overall the Commission is satisfied with the constructive progress made at this meeting as it indicates a willingness on the part of CCAMLR to regain its leadership in management and conservation of marine living resources after several years of stalemate.
For more info on CCAMLR, see http://www.ccamlr.org/