Home

22, May, 2012

Global Alliance launches new report calling for protection for over 40% of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean


Category: Antarctic Ocean Alliance

LONDON, 21 May 2012

The Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) will today unveil a new vision for the creation of the world’s largest network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and no-take marine reserves to protect 19 key Antarctic marine habitats with a new report 'Antarctic Ocean Legacy: A Vision for Circumpolar Protection'. The AOA report calls on the United Kingdom’s and other crucial governments to support increased marine protection for this unique and valuable environment. At an event in London on 21 May to launch the report, speakers will include Rt. Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben former Secretary of State for Environment; Professor Alex Rogers, Somerville College, University of Oxford, Professor Chris Reid, Marine Institute, University of Plymouth and the AOA’s Coordinator Steve Campbell.

Antarctic marine ecosystems are under increasing pressure. Growing demand for seafood means great interest in the Antarctic Ocean from commercial fishing interests. Climate change is affecting the abundance of important food sources for penguins, whales, seals and birds. The AOA’s research has identified over 40% of the Southern Ocean that warrants protection in a network of large-scale, no-take marine reserves and MPAs based on combining existing marine protected areas, areas identified within previous conservation and planning analyses and including additional key environmental habitats described in the AOA’s report. The AOA is campaigning for the body that regulates this marine environment, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), to adopt its protection plan urgently while this unique marine environment is still largely intact. CCAMLR has agreed to create a network of marine protected areas in some of the ocean around Antarctica this year and next. New Zealand, a party to CCAMLR, has the potential to be a champion country in the efforts to protect Antarctica’s ocean environment.

AOA’s coordinator Steve Campbell said: - “The AOA is calling on the New Zealand Government to maintain and enhance this momentum at CCAMLR this year and support our call for the world’s largest network of MPAs and no-take marine reserves in the oceans around Antarctica as a legacy for future generations.” “New Zealand has shown leadership in drafting its own proposal for Ross Sea Marine Protection, however we believe there is scope for this to include the areas outlined in our Circumpolar and Ross Sea reports.” “The science case is clear- home to vast populations of Southern Ocean wildlife, the Ross Sea is a key region to be protected.” CCAMLR is a consensus body that meets with limited public participation and no media access and the Alliance believes that more public awareness during the process will mean greater protection will be achieved. The AOA represents individuals and a range of organisations, including the Antarctica and Southern Ocean Coalition, Greenpeace, WWF, Forest and Bird and ECO, concerned with ensuring activity and climate change through the establishment of Marine Protected Areas. The AOA has launched “Join the Watch” campaign of CCAMLR that now has 38,000 participants from around the world that support protection for the Southern Ocean. Antarctic waters make up almost 10% of the world’s seas and are some of the most intact environments left on earth. They are home to almost 10,000 unique and diverse species such as penguins, seals and whales. www.antarcticocean.org Note: High-resolution photos and a video news release are available at: http://www.reru.com.au/Mediafiles/Antarctic_Ocean_Alliance/

Twitter: #JointheWatch, #Im_watching_because, #AOA

The report can be downloaded at: http://www.antarcticocean.org/pdf/circum/11241-AOA-Circumpolar-Report-FINAL.pdf