As countries prepare to gather for the last attempt this year to approve vast marine protected areas in Antarctic waters, The Pew Charitable Trusts applauded Australia, France, New Zealand, the European Union, and the United States today for urging other members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, or CCAMLR, to act.
The meeting, to be held in Hobart, Australia, October 21 to November 1, will be CCAMLR's third try at designating protections for some of the most pristine marine environments on Earth. To achieve this goal, all members of CCAMLR must agree.
Andrea Kavanagh, director of Pew's Southern Ocean sanctuaries project, praised the call to action:
“Today, several countries called on their counterparts to protect the world's most pristine oceans. By making their appeal as talks are set to resume, these nations are creating favorable conditions for securing Ross Sea and East Antarctic reserves this month.
“The international community has invested significant resources in studying, proposing, and vetting Antarctic marine protections. Now, it's time to act. If the designations are to measure up, they must be permanent, large-scale, and ecologically diverse.
“Countries can overcome the false starts of the past year by coming together this month to safeguard these vital areas.”