Antartica’s Ross Sea was declared as world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) to protect the Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystem.
It was declared after landmark international agreement among 24 countries and European Union in Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting in Hobart, Australia.
- The Ross Sea is one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the world. It covers 1.6 million square kilometers.
- MPA status to Ross Sea will bring blanket ban on commercial fishing across about three quarters of its area for 35 years.
- Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean is home to 38% of the world’s Adelie penguins, 30% of world’s Antarctic petrels and around 6% of world’s population of Antarctic minke whales.
- It is also home to huge numbers of krill, a staple food for species including whales and seals.
What is Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)?
- The CCAMLR was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. It is part of the Antarctic Treaty System.
- It was signed by 14 states and has been ratified by 35 states (including India) and the European Community
- Headquarters: Tasmania, Australia.
- Goal: Preserve marine life and environmental integrity in and near Antarctica
- The CCAMLR was established in response to increasing commercial interest in Antarctic krill resources, a keystone component of the Antarctic ecosystem and over-exploitation of several other marine resources in the Southern Ocean.