Germany intends to present the Working Group on Ecosystem Monitoring and Management (WG EMM) the background document that provides the scientific basis for the evaluation of a marine protected area (MPA) in the Weddell Sea planning area. The contents and structure of the whole document reflect its main objectives, i.e. to set out the general context of the establishment of MPAs and to provide the background information on the Weddell Sea MPA (WSMPA) planning area (Part A); to inform on the data retrieval process (Part B) and to describe the results of the scientific analyses and the MPA scenario development with the directly science-based aspects of the WSMPA proposal, i.e. the objectives and the boundaries and zones of the MPA (Part C).
Here, the authors intend to update WG EMM on the current state of Part A of the document 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 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 the current state of Part A of the document presents a comprehensive yet incomplete version concerning chapters that have to be (further) developed or revised.