MPAs are an important tool for biodiversity conservation with benefits for fisheries management. Since MPA planning commenced, CCAMLR has identified the Ross Sea as a key region in a representative system of Southern Ocean MPAs due to its scientific and biological value. The original joint US-NZ MPA proposed in 2012 was designed to meet an array of ecological and scientific objectives while also allowing for an economically viable toothfish fishery in the Ross Sea. Since 2012, Ross Sea region MPA proponents have continued to negotiate with all CCAMLR Members, taking into account their concerns, which are reflected in the current proposal. Through this document, ASOC highlights the revisions made to the current Ross Sea region MPA proposal, emphasizing that any further concessions will seriously undermine the ability of the MPA to meet its objectives. We also comment on the opportunities for research fishing throughout the Ross Sea, including in currently closed SSRUs and potentially in the Ross Sea region MPA. We further emphasize that a long duration for the MPA is of critical importance. ASOC encourages CCAMLR Members to adopt the Ross Sea region MPA proposal in its current 2015 revision.
This paper has also been submitted by ASOC in Chinese.