Hobart, Australia, 19 October 2015
The Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AM, will today open the thirty-fourth meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
Over the next two weeks, 25 delegations, with some 240 marine scientists, resource managers and policy makers from around the world, will continue work started 35 years ago when the Commission first met in Hobart. World experts will review current practice and consider new measures to conserve and manage marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean.
CCAMLR is a consensus-based organisation. This does not mean that all Members of the Commission must necessarily agree with a proposal but that, for a decision to be adopted, no member blocks agreement. This makes reaching consensus paramount and negotiations can go long into the night.
“Every Member has an equal say in the discussion of the management and conservation of the Southern Ocean,” says the Chair of the Commission, Mr Dmitry Gonchar (Russian Federation).
“At the conclusion of this meeting we will have made a number of informed decisions to guide commercial and research activities in the ocean surrounding Antarctica,” he said.
The annual Commission meeting considers scientific data and recommendations from its Scientific Committee which has supported the meetings of several expert specialist groups throughout the year. This week, CCAMLR’s Scientific Committee will evaluate Members’ contributions to the body of research that underpins our understanding of ecological relationships and how it can inform conservation practice.
The Chair of the Scientific Committee, Dr Christopher Jones (USA), noted that this ensures that the Commission is provided with the best available scientific advice to assist in its decision-making.
“CCAMLR is internationally renowned for its ecosystem-based approach to conservation and management of marine living resources in the Southern Ocean,” said Jones.
“There is also important work being undertaken to accumulate sufficient knowledge to be able to provide advice that will support the management of CCAMLR-regulated fisheries in a precautionary manner,” he added.
This year, CCAMLR Members will pay tribute to the long and valued contribution of a small number of individuals in the CCAMLR community who have devoted 30 or more years to the conservation of Southern Ocean ecosystems through their enduring work with CCAMLR.
Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AM, will present seven individuals with tokens of appreciation for their highly valued contribution to the global CCAMLR community.
This year’s CCAMLR meetings will include discussions of:
Marine Protected Area (MPA) proposals in East Antarctica and the Ross Sea
initiatives to assess and further reduce illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean
setting catch limits for krill, toothfish and other finfish species
setting catch limits for research fisheries that will support improved scientific knowledge
CCAMLR’s regulatory framework and strategic priorities
safety at sea.
Media representatives are invited to attend the opening of the Commission on 19 October at 9:00am, to be held at CCAMLR Headquarters, 181 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Australia. Media will then be excused once the meeting commences. Interview opportunities with the CCAMLR Executive Secretary and specific heads of delegations may be available upon request during the first break at 10:30–11:00am.
What is CCAMLR?
The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
Established by an international treaty in 1982
Its objective is the conservation of Antarctic marine life while providing for rational use
25 Members and a further 11 countries have signed the Convention
The Secretariat (international Headquarters) is at 181 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Australia
Phone: +61 3 6210 1168
Mobile: +61 (0) 423 846 513
Email: warrick [dot] glynn [at] ccamlr [dot] org