23 November, 2013
The Governor of Tasmania, His Excellency the Honourable Peter Underwood AC, will today open the thirty-second meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
Over the next eight days, 25 delegations, with some 200 marine scientists, resource managers and policy makers from around the world, will review and decide on a range of measures to conserve and manage marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean. This annual Commission meeting considers scientific data and recommendations from its specialist groups, which meet throughout the year. As a side benefit from this meeting, an estimated A$1.5 million will flow into the Hobart economy through accommodation and tourism.
CCAMLR is a consensus-based organisation, which means that every one of the 25 Members has to agree for a decision to be made by the Commission. ‘Every Member has an equal say, regardless of the extent of the interest a nation might have in Antarctica’, says the Chair of the Commission, Mr Leszek Dybiec (Poland). This makes finding agreement paramount, and negotiations can go long into the night.
Chair of the Scientific Committee, Dr Christopher Jones (United States), emphasised that ‘Science is fundamental to CCAMLR, and this week CCAMLR’s Scientific Committee is meeting to provide the best available scientific advice to assist the Commission in managing and conserving marine life in Antarctica’.
The agenda for this year’s CCAMLR meetings will concentrate on:
- Marine Protected Area (MPA) proposals.
- Krill fisheries management that uses signals from penguins and seals to adjust catch limits.
- Setting catch limits for toothfish and other species in the Southern Ocean.
- Deciding how to set catch limits for research fisheries that will allow research on the size of fish stocks while not impacting the fish population being studied.
- How Member countries record and report on compliance with the rules and agreements of the Commission.
Two MPA proposals have been submitted to the Commission for consideration. One jointly submitted by Australia, the European Union and France covers an area of 1.6 million km2. The other one, submitted by New Zealand and the United States covers 1.3 million km2. Each of these proposals has the potential to establish the world’s largest MPA.
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
- Secretariat (international headquarters) at 181 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Australia
- Further information at: www.ccamlr.org
Jessica Nilsson, Communication Manager, jessica [dot] nilsson [at] ccamlr [dot] org,
Mobile: +61 (0) 438 085 419