U.S., NZ form plan to protect Ross Sea
By SeafoodSource staff
30 October, 2012
A new agreement between the United States and New Zealand could lead to a multinational organization creating a 1.6 million square kilometer protected zone this week in the Ross Sea off the coast of Antarctica.
The two countries agreed upon a joint proposal to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, a coalition established in 1982 to protect marine life in Antarctica and made up of 24 nations plus the European Union.
The commission is expected to meet next week at a meeting in Hobart, Tazmania, to issue a decision on the proposal. If approved, the proposal will be a part of an ongoing campaign by the commission to create the world’s largest system of no-take marine reserves.
According to a release from the Pew Environment Group, a nonprofit organization advocating for the protection zone, the area of oceans around Antarctica, often described collectively as the Southern Ocean, is home to nearly 10,000 species, many which are unique to the planet. The area is also home to toothfish, known in the United States as Chilean sea bass. According to Pew, toothfish populations are in more danger due to recent expansion of commercial fisheries.
“Pew is working hard to secure strong conservation provisions for this extraordinary environment through the establishment of very large no-take marine reserves, protecting the myriad of life that has adapted to live in the waters that surround the frozen continent,” Pew wrote.
In all, the commission is looking to secure 3.6 million square kilometers. The commission’s efforts have attracted the attention of celebrities that have trumpeted the cause, including actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who has been collecting signatures via social media.
30 October, 2012