At the Special Meeting of the Commission held in Bremerhaven, Germany, on 15 and 16 July 2013, two marine protected area (MPA) proposals were submitted to the Commission by CCAMLR Members: one for the Ross Sea Region by New Zealand and the United States, and one for the establishment of a representative system of MPAs in East Antarctica by Australia, France and the European Union.
Establishing MPAs is a complex process involving a large amount of scientific research as well as international diplomacy. Although CCAMLR members benefitted from the extensive exchange of views on MPAs in the CCAMLR Convention Area, agreeing on two major proposals for the establishment of MPAs proved to be a task requiring more time than was available during the two-day Special Meeting. The Meeting decided that further consideration of the proposals was needed. Therefore, there will be further discussions among Members until CCAMLR’s annual meeting in October 2013 when the proposals may be further discussed.
CCAMLR’s history shows that decisions involving complex issues, such as establishing MPAs, require a substantial amount of time and consideration. This has been demonstrated in the Commission’s discussions on issues in the past such as satellite based vessel monitoring systems and matters associated with illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Media representatives are invited to contact the proponent Member countries for further details in relation to the MPA proposals.