Ross Sea Protected Area Special Research Zone
From New Zealand Foreign Affairs & Trade website:
In October 2016 the Commission for the Conservation of Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) reached consensus on a New Zealand/United States proposal to establish a large-scale marine protected area in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. The Agreement will enter into force on 1 December 2017.
The Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area covers 1.55 million square kilometres, of which 1.12 million square kilometres, or 72%, is fully protected (no fishing is permitted). It is the world’s largest Marine Protected Area.
The agreement balances marine protection, sustainable fishing and science interests. These include important habitats and foraging areas for marine mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates, including iconic species in the region such as Weddell seals, killer whales and Emperor penguins.
New Zealand and the United States first came together to propose the MPA in 2012 and worked together to gain agreement from CCAMLR’s 23 other members. CCAMLR only makes decisions by consensus.
This is a significant achievement and represents a major contribution to global marine protection.
The Marine Protected Area features:
The duration of the MPA has been set at 35 years for the General Protection Zone, with a consensus decision by the CCAMLR membership required to continue the MPA beyond this period.
A lower period of duration was agreed for the management provisions in the Special Research Zone. These restrictions on fishing will expire after 30 years, at which time the Scientific Committee will consider whether other measures are required to meet agreed science and protection objectives.
The catch limit for Antarctic toothfish in the Special Research Zone is 15% of the total allowable catch for the Ross Sea fishery. The catch limit meets the scientific research and protection objectives for this area.
Should the Special Research Zone expire after 30 years, the catch limit will not exceed 20% of the total allowable catch set for this area.
Ross Sea Designated as World’s Largest Marine Protected Area (27 Oct 2016) PEW
ABC News UPDATE 2015: Russia blocks a proposal for a marine protection area in Antarctica's Ross Sea
Blog on Antarctic 2015 - Marine Conservation Institute
Antarctic Ocean Alliance, 2012. Antarctic Ocean Legacy: a Marine Reserve for the Ross Sea: http://antarcticocean.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/11073_AOA-Ross-Sea-Report_Web.pdf
US MPA proposal for the Ross Sea: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/09/197817.htm
New Zealand MPA proposal for the Ross Sea: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/ross-sea-mpa/tabs/proposal.php
2/29/12 Ambitious Ross Sea marine reserve bid: http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/6493659/Ambitious-Ross-Sea-marine-reserve-bid