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Press releases and News :: EU to push for establishment of Marine Protected Areas in Antarctica

EU to push for establishment of Marine Protected Areas in Antarctica

(12/07/2013) The European Union wants to see the vulnerable areas around Antarctica better protected in recognition of their global importance.

To this effect, the EU will put forward a proposal for the creation of a system of marine protected areas in Antarctica – the East Antarctic Representative System of Marine Protected Areas - at a special meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources (CCAMLR) on 15–16 July in Bremerhaven, Germany.

The EU's proposal, which is presented together with Australia and France (on behalf of its overseas territories), aims to ensure conservation of seven ocean regions with particular open ocean and seabed biodiversity. The selected areas are home to a distinctive water flora and fauna. A wide range of sea marine mammals, penguins and other seabirds find important feeding grounds here. This system will provide important reference areas for understanding the effects of fishing and the consequences of climate change. The total surface of the proposed protected areas is approximately 1.6 million square kilometres and amounting to a very limited percentage of the vast Antarctic area.

At the meeting, the USA and New Zealand will also present a proposal for the establishment of a Marine Protected Area in the Ross Sea.

The European Commission is looking forward to a successful outcome from the meeting.

Background

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is an intergovernmental organisation with 25 Members, including the European Union. It is a platform for international collaboration in the Antarctic focusing on the conservation and sustainable use of Antarctic marine living resources.

The meeting in Bremerhaven will follow up on the discussions on MPAs that took place at CCAMLR’s Annual Meeting in October 2012 where consensus was not found.

Further information

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