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: 3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

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

3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

Nov 21, 2014

Last week, China and the United States announced an ambitious climate agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions in both countries, a pledge that marks the first time that China has agreed to stop its growing emissions. ...

From hurricanes to drought, LatAm's volatile climate

Nov 21, 2014

Sixteen years ago, Teodoro Acuna Zavala lost nearly everything when Hurricane Mitch ravaged his fields, pouring 10 days of torrential rains on Central America and killing more than 9,000 people.

Nicaragua: Studies say canal impact to be minimal

Nov 20, 2014

Officials said Thursday that studies have determined a $40 billion inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua will have minimal impact on the environment and society, and construction is to begin next month.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.