Protection needed for critical East Antarctic marine habitats

Oct 18, 2012
Protection needed for critical East Antarctic marine habitats
Snow petral. Credit: John Weller

An alliance of 30 global environment organisations today launched a report calling for greater protection for the East Antarctic marine environment, on the eve of an international meeting where the future conservation of this region will be decided.

The Alliance (AOA) report "Antarctic Ocean Legacy: Protection for the East Antarctic Coastal Region," supports a proposal from Australia, France and the EU for East Antarctic marine protection but also calls for additional important areas to be included such as the Prydz Gyre, the Cosmonaut Polynya, and the East India .

In just seven days, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), will begin meetings in Hobart, Tasmania to debate several proposals for marine protection, including the East Antarctic coastal region and the Ross Sea. The Ross Sea was the subject of an AOA report in February this year.

Protection needed for critical East Antarctic marine habitats
Penguins hunting. Credit: John Weller

"The AOA is calling on CCAMLR Members to support the current East Antarctic coastal region proposal put forward by Australia, France and the EU, but to also consider additional areas in subsequent years that our report shows are critical to ensuring the wildlife in the region gets the protection it needs," said AOA Director Steve Campbell.

"We are calling on CCAMLR Members to support the establishment of the world's largest network of and in the ocean around Antarctica as a legacy for ," Mr. Campbell said. "Decisive protection for the East Antarctic coastal region and Ross Sea would be a great start to that process."

The remote East Antarctic is home to a significant number of the Southern Ocean's penguins, seals and whales. It also contains rare and unusual and oceanographic features, which support high biodiversity.

"While the AOA supports the conservation gains included in the proposal from Australia, France and the EU, we hope that CCAMLR delegates will consider expanding on the area to be protected to include additional areas that are critical habitats for Adélie penguins, Antarctic toothfish, minke whales and Antarctic krill in the future," said Mr. Campbell.

Antarctic marine ecosystems are under increasing pressure. Growing demand for seafood means greater interest in the Southern Ocean's resources, while climate change is affecting the abundance of important food sources for penguins, whales, seals and birds.

Explore further: Pollution risks of megacity 'street canyons' examined in unique new research

More information: awsassets.panda.org/downloads/… c_report_web__2_.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Antarctic krill provide carbon sink in Southern Ocean

Feb 06, 2006

New research on Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), a shrimp-like animal at the heart of the Southern Ocean food chain, reveals behaviour that shows that they absorb and transfer more carbon from the Earth’s surface than ...

Recommended for you

Global change: Trees continue to grow at a faster rate

55 minutes ago

Trees have been growing significantly faster since the 1960s. The typical development phases of trees and stands have barely changed, but they have accelerated—by as much as 70 percent. This was the outcome ...

Study finds Great Barrier Reef is an effective wave absorber

59 minutes ago

New research has found that the Great Barrier Reef is a remarkably effective wave absorber, despite large gaps between the reefs. This means that landward of the reefs, waves are mostly related to local winds rather than ...

Cape Cod saltmarsh recovery looks good, falls short

1 hour ago

After decades of decline, grasses have returned to some once-denuded patches of Cape Cod's saltmarshes. To the eye, the marsh in those places seems healthy again, but a new study makes clear that a key service ...

Manure offsets fertiliser's nano-scale changes

1 hour ago

A UWA study has shown how long-term use of chemical fertilisers changes the soil on a nanoparticle scale and how these changes can be avoided by adding organic matter such as manure.

User comments : 0