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News :: Disappointment as CCAMLR fails to agree to the establishment of Marine Protected Areas in the Antarctica

Disappointment as CCAMLR fails to agree to the establishment of Marine Protected Areas in the Antarctica

(04/11/2013) The European Commission has expressed its disappointment at the failure of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to reach agreement on the establishment of marine protected areas in Antarctica at its 23rd Annual Meeting held in Hobart, Australia, from 23rd October to 1st November.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "The adoption of these MPAs would have been a bold and important step for marine protection in CCAMLR and globally. This is another missed opportunity for CCAMLR to fulfil its own objective to establish a network of MPAs. We will continue to support the establishment of these MPAs and hope that CCAMLR can continue to be a leading force in marine conservation."
The European Union had submitted, together with Australia and France (on behalf of its overseas territories), a proposal for the establishment of an East Antarctica Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Despite this revised proposal being the third time it had been presented to CCAMLR members, consensus between the parties could still not be reached. The proposal for an MPA in the Ross Sea region put forward by New Zealand and United States was not adopted either, despite the suggested reductions for the total surface of the proposed MPA.

Elsewhere, the meeting did have some positive outcomes. Most notably it was agreed to set the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for species under its purview in line with scientific advice. The organisation also undertook for the first time a country-by-country compliance review which further strengthens fisheries control.  Beyond this, CCAMLR decided to review its Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS) for toothfish, a tool in its fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU).

In order to address issues regarding overcapacity, CCAMLR members agreed to work on the development of indicators, under the EU's lead, until the CCAMLR members reconvene for next CCAMLR meeting which will be held in 2014 from 23 October to 31 October in Hobart, Australia.

Further information on the activities of CCAMLR