New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade - Manatū Aorere.

Revised proposal

New Zealand and the United States have submitted a revised proposal to establish a Marine Protected Area in the Ross Sea region that will cover roughly 1.34 million km2 (of which 1.25 million km2 is no-take).

If agreed, this would be the largest MPA in the world. But more importantly, the core elements of the original proposal remain unchanged. Specifically, these include: 

The Spawning Protection Zone in the northwest, which provided only seasonal protection, has been replaced with a smaller, fully protected area to provide representative protection for a range of seamounts and other habitats (see (ii) on the map).

The General Protection Zone in the northeast of our earlier proposal has been removed on the advice of the Scientific Committee.

Both of these changes were made because the Scientific Committee was not convinced that there was adequate evidence to justify large areas of the north being closed to protect spawning toothfish. New Zealand will ask the Scientific Committee to develop, as a priority, a programme to deliver increased research in this area focused on improving knowledge of toothfish spawning to inform reviews of the MPA. 

The General Protection Zone around Scott Seamount (see (iii) on the map) has been reduced in line with Scientific Committee advice, but remains an important part of the proposal. Under the revised proposal Scott Seamount itself remains fully protected.

The revised proposal continues to balances marine protection, sustainable fishing and science interests.

Under the proposal the toothfish fishery would continue in areas outside the MPA. This fishery is internationally recognised for its science-based sustainable management and the MPA would enhance this.

Map of the revised proposal

 


Frequently asked questions


Why has the proposal been changed?

New Zealand and the United States have revised the proposal in response to advice from the CCAMLR Scientific Committee. The changes also reflect the various views of CCAMLR Members who engaged with the proposal during the July special meeting.

In order to gain agreement within CCAMLR to a meaningful MPA, the advice of the Scientific Committee must be followed. To achieve an MPA in the Ross Sea region, every country that is a member of CCAMLR must agree.

What are the changes?

If agreed by CCAMLR, the revised proposal (at 1.34 million km2, of which 1.25 million km2 is no-take), would still be the largest MPA in the world.
Its core elements remain unchanged. Specifically, these include: 

The Spawning Protection Zone in the northwest, which provided only seasonal protection, has been replaced with a smaller, fully protected area to provide representative protection for a range of seamounts and other habitats (see (ii) on the map).

The General Protection Zone in the northeast of our earlier proposal has been removed on the advice of the Scientific Committee.

Both these changes were made because the Scientific Committee was not convinced that there was adequate evidence to justify large areas of the north being closed to protect spawning toothfish.
The General Protection Zone around Scott Seamount (see (iii) on the map) has been reduced in line with Scientific Committee advice, but remains an important part of the proposal. Under the revised proposal Scott Seamount itself remains fully protected.

The revised proposal would still protect a full range of habitats, ecosystems and areas of particular ecological significance. It continues to balances marine protection, sustainable fishing and science interests.

How long will the MPA exist under the proposal?

This will be considered by CCAMLR as part of the MPA discussion.