Conserving Antarctic marine life
The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. This was in response to increasing commercial interest in Antarctic krill resources, a keystone component of the Antarctic ecosystem and a history of over-exploitation of several other marine resources in the Southern Ocean.
Being responsible for the conservation of Antarctic marine ecosystems, CCAMLR practises an ecosystem-based management approach. This does not exclude harvesting as long as such harvesting is carried out in a sustainable manner and takes account of the effects of fishing on other components of the ecosystem.
CCAMLR is an international commission with 26 Members, and a further 10 countries have acceded to the Convention. Based on the best available scientific information, the Commission agrees a set of conservation measures that determine the use of marine living resources in the Antarctic.
The key institutional components of CCAMLR are:
- the CAMLR Convention which entered into force on 7 April 1982
- a decision-making body, the Commission
- a Scientific Committee which advises the Commission using the best available science
- Conservation measures and resolutions
- CCAMLR's Membership and provisions for international cooperation and collaboration
- a Secretariat based in Hobart, Tasmania, that supports the work of the Commission.
CCAMLR's programs of research, monitoring and the application of conservation measures in the Convention Area make a valuable contribution to Antarctic conservation.