Germany intends to present the Scientific Committee the scientific background and justification for the development of a marine protected area (MPA) in the Weddell Sea planning area. In accordance with the recommendations by WG-EMM-14 (SC-CAMLR-XXIII, Annex 6), this was done in three separate documents (Part A-C). SC-CAMLR-XXXIV/BG/15 (Part A) sets out the general context of the establishment of MPAs and provides the background information on the Weddell Sea MPA (WSMPA) planning area; SC-CAMLR-XXXIV/BG/16 (Part B) informs on the data retrieval process and SC-CAMLR-XXXIV/BG/17 (Part C) describes the means and the results of the scientific analyses and the development of objectives and priority areas for a Weddell Sea MPA.
Here, the delegation of Germany intends to update the Scientific Committee on the current state of Part A that has been presented at the meeting of the CCAMLR Scientific Committee in 2014. The Scientific Committee had welcomed and endorsed the scientific background document (SC-CAMLR-XXXIII/BG/02) as a foundation reference for the Weddell Sea MPA planning (SC-CAMLR-XXXIII, § 5.21). Part A was further developed in the 2014/15 intersessional period and contains (i) a synopsis in terms of the establishment of MPAs (chapter 1); (ii) a description of the boundaries of the WSMPA planning area (chapter 2); (iii) a comprehensive, yet succinct, general description of the Weddell Sea ecosystem (chapter 3); (iv) and finally a guidance regarding the future work beyond the development of the scientific basis for the evaluation of a WSMPA (chapter 4).
Please note that this document constitutes the final version of Part A of the WSMPA background document (subject to final editorial corrections and changes).