Public call on CCAMLR to deliver Antarctic marine protection
Public call on CCAMLR to deliver real Antarctic marine protection at rally in Hobart
HOBART, Australia, 28 October 2013 – More than 150 people took part in a rally hosted by the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) today outside the headquarters of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting in Hobart, calling for permanent Antarctic marine protection.
The lunchtime rally included participants with giant eye balloons and large binoculars representing those “watching” the CCAMLR meeting for an outcome, a performance of Russian music and a colourful range of signs and banners calling on CCALMR to deliver on its conservation promises.
"We call on all CCAMLR Members to support robust Ross Sea and East Antarctic proposals that do not compromise conservation objectives,” said the AOA’s Steve Green at the rally. “This means establishing large-scale, biologically diverse areas for full protection, and supporting permanent designations with review clauses for future revisions where and when supported by science."
"The Ross Sea is considered by many scientists to be the most pristine ocean left in the world, where whales, penguins and Antarctic toothfish still thrive in an intact food web,” said wildlife photographer and rally speaker John Weller. "Creating Antarctic reserves would be the first truly multilateral effort to create international marine reserves on a large scale."
There are two key proposals on the table at the CCAMLR meeting: a joint US-NZ proposal to designate a Ross Sea marine protected area (MPA) of 1.32 million km2 with 1.25 million km2 proposed as no-take; and a second proposal from Australia, France and the EU for East Antarctic, to protect 1.6 million km2 designated as multiple use. The CCAMLR full Commission is meeting from 23 October to 1 November, when decisions will be announced. These proposals have been a decade in the making and awaiting designation for more than two years. All CCAMLR decisions must be made by consensus.