Today, Nov. 1, 2013, the latest meeting of the Commission for the Conservation on Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) closed in Hobart, Australia without an agreement on how to protect the Ross Sea and the marine area off East Antarctica.
Previous talks of the CCAMLR failed a few months ago in Germany. Despite a decade of negotiations, talks to create the world’s largest marine reserve in waters off Antarctica failed again. Twenty-four nations and the European Union gathered in Tasmania but failed to reach a consensus on proposed protected areas in the Southern Ocean and Ross Sea.
WWF spokesperson Bob Zuur expressed his disappointment:
“I sailed through the Ross Sea last year and saw dozens of whales, hundreds of seals and albatrosses, and thousands of penguins. The Ross Sea and East Antarctica are two of the Earth’s truly special places, largely untouched by humans.
“Lasting protection for these conservation values should be obvious. Yet the focus was on protecting fishing interests. The conservation principles enshrined in the CCAMLR convention will be questioned following this failure to reach agreement.”
Zurr questioned the motives of the commission saying that they were more interested in protecting fishing interests than protecting the vulnerable Southern Oceans.