Call for huge Antarctic marine reserve

2012-02-28 14:11
Activists have called for a huge Antarctic marine reserve to be created. (AP)

Activists have called for a huge Antarctic marine reserve to be created. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Wellington - A coalition of environment groups called on Tuesday for the world's largest marine reserve to be declared in Antarctica's Ross Sea to prevent "industrial scale" fishing ruining the pristine ecosystem.

The Antarctic Ocean Alliance said waters surrounding the remote frozen continent were facing increased exploitation as fish stocks elsewhere in the world continue to decline.

The alliance of 16 conservation groups including Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and Humane Society International, proposes a 3.6 million square kilometres protection zone in the Ross Sea.

"The Ross Sea is one of the world's most amazing and relatively untouched marine environments," the alliance's US adviser Chuck Fox said at the launch of a report outlining the proposal in Wellington.

Fox said that while New Zealand and the US had also outlined plans to protect the Ross Sea, their proposals did not go far enough and would not prevent commercial fishing in the area.


He said the international organisation charged with managing the southern seas - the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) - was set to decide on a network of marine reserves this year.

But Fox said CCAMLR was making its decision behind closed doors and the alliance was launching a worldwide petition titled "Join the Watch" demanding the best-possible protection for the Ross Sea.

The petition has attracted high-profile supporters including British tycoon Richard Branson and Hollywood actor Edward Norton, who said it was vital for the public to lobby CCAMLR as it decides the Ross Sea's fate.

"There's a moment of opportunity here to apply pressure and send a signal that millions of people are watching this process and are saying 'Don’t let us down'," he said.

The report said the Ross Sea was home to large numbers of seal, seabirds, whales and squid, as well as the Antarctic toothfish, a slow-growing species which lives up to 50 years and has been decimated by fishing in recent years.

It said Antarctica was also a critical resource for studying climate change, with its ice cores providing valuable data on greenhouse gas levels and temperatures.

"A large-scale [Ross Sea] marine reserve would be an important and inspirational step for marine protection both in the Southern Ocean and globally," it said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    environment  |  marine life

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

6 reasons Boks won’t botch it
Fiji far too strong for Uruguay
Burger hopes for elusive World Cup win
As it happened: Fiji 47-15 Uruguay
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.