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The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) agreed last week to establish a sizable marine protected area in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.
With support from national delegates, scientists, and members of the krill industry, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) agreed last week to create one of the first marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean. The agreement establishes a 1.55 million km2 area of Antarctica’s Ross Sea where marine harvesting will be limited or prohibited beginning in December of 2017.
“Seventy-two percent of the MPA will be a ‘no-take’ zone, which forbids all fishing, while other sections will permit some harvesting of fish and krill for scientific research,” according to CCAMLR’s announcement of the agreement, which was arrived at during last week’s 35th CCAMLR meeting in Hobart, Tasmania.
Krill oil supplier Aker BioMarine (Oslo, Norway) hailed the creation of the marine protected area as a “major breakthrough.”
“The industry showed CCAMLR that we are serious about taking responsibility for the Antarctic ecosystem,” said WebjÃ¸rn Eikrem, president of the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesters (ARK) and executive vice president of production and supply chain at Aker BioMarine. “It was great to see how the industry really came together by going beyond regulation and the expectations of CCAMLR, which led to historic progress in the conservation of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean. Taking care of the ecosystem in which we fish is the best way we can ensure the future of our fishery.”
Also at the CCAMLR meeting, conservation measure 51-70 was renewed, “which ensures that the krill fishery does not concentrate too much in one area,” Aker BioMarine explained.
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