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06, Nov, 2011

Antarctic Alliance congratulates CCAMLR on agreeing to Antarctic Ocean framework


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Antarctic Alliance calls on CCAMLR to prioritise Marine Protection for looming 2012 deadline as delegates commit to framework

Antarctic Alliance congratulates CCAMLR on agreeing to Antarctic ocean Marine Protection Framework

Calls on international body to prioritise specifics of deliver before looming 2012 deadline

HOBART, 4 November 2011 – The Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) today welcomed the vote at the Convention for the Conservation of Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) finalising an agreement in support of creating a network of marine reserves and marine protected areas in the oceans around Antarctica. However, the Alliance called on CCAMLR delegates to step up efforts to establish a clear framework to deliver protection as the convention’s 2012 deadline looms.

This week the Alliance presented a proposal to create a network of designated marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves in 19 ocean areas around Antarctica, which would establish the most comprehensive ocean protection regime of its kind in the world. When launching the proposal, the Alliance presented a map outlining key areas it recommends for protection including the Ross Sea, Antarctic Peninsula and Weddell Sea.

“Some progress has been made in Hobart with good will from many countries but if CCAMLR is going to meet its target of a representative network of marine protected areas and marine reserves by 2012, much work is yet to be done,” said Alliance campaign director Steve Campbell at the meeting in Hobart. “The members need to lift the scale of their ambition and many countries need to drop their commercial interest in favour of protecting this unique environment.”

Scenarios for Marine Protection were offered by the governments of Australia, France, The United States, the United Kingdom, EU, and New Zealand.

“There are some good proposals on the table, but many of them do not include key areas where protection of biodiversity is required”, said Campbell.

"Globally the oceans are in crisis and their health can only be restored by the creation of a global network of large scale marine reserves,” said Richard Page, oceans campaigner with Greenpeace, an Alliance member. “CCAMLR member countries now have all the tools to create a circumpolar network of marine reserves and must act now to protect the penguins, seals, seabirds and other vulnerable marine life inhabiting the icy waters around Antarctica and so lead the way in protecting the high seas."

Claire Christian of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) said "CCAMLR Members worked diligently to develop a clear way forward on marine protection this year, and ASOC hopes that this foundation will pave the way for the designation of large-scale marine reserves at next year's meeting.”

She said that doing so will continue CCAMLR's tradition of leadership in international ocean governance.

The Alliance will be working in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia in the coming year to make its vision of a network of Antarctic marine reserves, an order of magnitude than anything that has been achieved before, a reality.

Alliance members include Greenpeace, ASOC, Mission Blue, Forest and Bird, ECO  NZ and associates the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Oceana.