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

News

  • 12/07/2013 - Questions and Answers, East Antarctic Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (EARSMPA)

    What is CCAMLR? The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was established in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life.

  • 11/07/2013 - European Parliament’s fisheries committee votes on the EMFF

    The new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is one step closer to adoption: in its vote on the Commission's proposal adopted on 10 July 2013, the PECH Committee of the European Parliament endorsed the Commission's call to ensure that the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) becomes the main financial instrument to achieve the ambitious reforms of the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to ensure long-term environmental sustainability and to secure a competitive future for the fisheries sector.

  • 09/07/2013 - New Fisheries Protocol EU – Comoros

    The European Union and the Union of the Comoros initialled on 5 July a new Protocol to the EU-Comoros Fisheries Partnership Agreement, which will be activated from 1 January 2014, when the current protocol expires.