No Consensus Yet on Antarctica MPAs

TERMS USED IN THE ARTICLE

⇒ Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR):

It was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. This was in response to increasing commercial interest in Antarctic krill resources, a keystone component of the Antarctic ecosystem.

CCAMLR is an international commission with 25 Members, and a further 11 countries have acceded to the Convention. Based on the best available scientific information, the Commission agrees a set of conservation measures that determine the use of marine living resources in the Antarctic.

No Consensus Yet on Antarctica MPAs

⇒ Marine Protected Area (MPA):

A marine protected area (MPA) is a region of the ocean in which human activities are more strictly regulated than in the surrounding waters, similar to a national park on land. MPAs are designated and managed through legal means with the goals of achieving long- term conservation of habitat, providing refuges for different species, and even provide safe havens for cultural and historical sites. Antarctica MPAs protect biodiversity and buffer habitats from the impacts of human activities and allow impacted areas the time to recover.

INTRODUCTION

CCAMLR in its last meeting at Hobart, Australia held last month in October, failed to bring a collective consensus among the member countries on the issue of creation of MPA’s.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MPA’S

There are several different types of MPAs with differing amounts of regulations and restrictions. The strictest MPA is a no-take reserve, with complete prohibition. These MPAs have strict no fishing policies and do not allow any take from the designated area. These areas are also called Marine Reserves (MR). There are other MPAs that have more lenient rules on fishing. These MPAs can be harder to regulate and offer more challenges to those legally responsible for the MPA. Some regulations that go along with these types of MPAs are zonal management, temporal control, equipment restriction, quotas and the requirement of licenses or permits for fishing or other activities.

USES OF MPA’S

⇒ Protect and restore the ecosystems in our seas and around our coasts.

⇒ Ensure that the species and habitats found there can thrive and are not threatened or damaged.

⇒ Maintain a diverse range of marine life that can be resistant to changes brought about by physical disturbance, pollution and climate change.

⇒ Provide areas where the public can enjoy a healthy marine environment learn about marine life and enjoy activities such as diving, photography, exploring rock pools and coastal walking.

⇒ Provide natural areas for scientific study

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