Representatives of two-dozen countries and the European Union—the member governments of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, or CCAMLR—are meeting to determine whether some of the waters of the Antarctic, including the Ross Sea, one of Mission Blue’s original Hope Spots, will be protected or left open to industrial fishing and other human activities.
Fishing and oil drilling could be banned across more than two million square kilometres of the frigid seas around Antarctica in a historic attempt to conserve the last pristine ocean.
Negotiations will centre on a proposal for a 1.25m square kilometre “no take” zone, which would cover much of the Ross Sea. Another proposal would establish several other smaller protected areas in the seas around East Antarctica, adding a further 1.9m sq km protection zone. A third reserve, proposed by Germany and backed by Britain, would ban fishing from a large portion of the Weddell Sea, which is the site of the British Antarctic Survey’s research station, and where Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed by ice in 1915.
Mission Blue Board Director and creator of Sherman’s Lagoon, Jim Toomey offers up this lighthearted look at just what the wildlife in Antarctica might be thinking about!
Stay up to date with the CCAMLR meetings and make your voice heard by signing the petition on the Antarctic Ocean Alliance’s website!