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No MPA Agreement Decided for Antarctica

06 November 2015

ANTARCTICA - The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has not been able to reach an agreement on the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Antarctica at its 34th Annual Meeting held in Hobart, Australia, from 19 to 30 October 2015.

CCAMLR members were unable to reach necessary consensus on any of the proposals submitted by the EU, Australia, France (on behalf of its overseas territories), New Zealand and the United States for the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Antarctica.

One major issue of differentiation among CCAMLR Members was the duration of MPAs; nevertheless the European Commission welcomes the increasing number of nations supporting these proposals.

A step forward has been the setting of the Total Allowable Catch for species such as toothfish and krill in line with scientific advice and the reinforcement of the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). However, it is regrettable that the review of monitoring, surveillance and control measures did not fulfil initial expectations in the absence of a consensus.

Another positive element is that CCAMLR has reconfirmed that it remains dedicated to the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In this context a pilot project using satellite surveillance in the convention area is still ongoing. Furthermore, CCAMLR members agreed to initiate coordinated efforts regarding climate change.

The next CCAMLR meeting will be held from 17 October to 28 October in 2016 in Hobart, Australia.

TheFishSite News Desk

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