Hobart, Australia, 20 October 2014
Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania, His Excellency The Honourable Chief Justice Alan Blow OAM, will today open the thirty-third meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
Over the next ten days, 25 delegations, with some 240 marine scientists, resource managers and policy makers from around the world, will continue the work of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) which started 34 years ago when the Commission first met in Hobart. This year the Commission will review past decisions and consider new measures to conserve and manage marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean.
As a side benefit from this meeting, an estimated A$1.5 million will flow into the Hobart economy through accommodation, meals and tourism.
CCAMLR is a consensus-based organisation. This does not mean that all members of the Commission must necessarily wholeheartedly 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, regardless of the extent of the interest a nation might have in the Southern Ocean,’ says Chair of the Commission, Mr Leszek Dybiec (Poland).
This annual Commission meeting considers scientific data and recommendations from its specialist groups, which meet throughout the year.
Chair of the Scientific Committee, Dr Christopher Jones (United States), emphasised that ‘CCAMLR practises an ecosystem-based approach to conservation and management of marine living resources in the Southern Ocean, and this week CCAMLR’s Scientific Committee is meeting to provide the best available scientific advice to assist the Commission in their decision making’.
This year’s CCAMLR meetings will concentrate on:
- Marine Protected Area (MPA) proposals in East Antarctica and the Ross Sea
- initiatives to assess and reduce illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean such as inspections and vessel monitoring
- setting catch limits for krill, toothfish and other finfish species
- setting catch limits for research fisheries that will support improved scientific knowledge.
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 million km2 in East Antarctica The other one, submitted by New Zealand and the United States covers 1.3 million km2 in the Ross Sea Each of these proposals has the potential to establish the world’s largest MPA.
Media representatives are invited to attend the opening of the Commission on 20 October at 9:00am, to be held at CCAMLR headquarters, 181 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Australia. Media will then be excused until a media briefing at 10:30am.
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
- Further information, including a five minute video outlining the work of CCAMLR
Phone: +61 3 6210 1168
Mobile: +61 (0) 423 846 513
Email: warrick [dot] glynn [at] ccamlr [dot] org