New revised proposal
New Zealand and the United States tabled a revised version of the MPA proposal at the annual CCAMLR meeting in Hobart on 30 October 2015.
The key changes are:
- Directed fishing for Antarctic Krill will be permitted in the Special Research Zone (SRZ), and in a new Krill Research Zone (KRZ) in the north western part of the Ross Sea region, in accordance with the objectives of the MPA and CCAMLR’s rules. The Krill Research Zone area is a new addition to the proposed MPA boundaries and is designed to promote research and scientific understanding of krill in the north western Ross Sea region. The total size of the MPA has, as a result, increased to more than 1.5 million square kilometres, with over 1 million square kilometres remaining no-take.
- The proposal now acknowledges that there will likely need to be consensus from the CCAMLR Membership to continue the marine protected area at the end of its first period of designation, however the detail of the number of years for the MPA remains for CCAMLR Members to agree in the final negotiation.
Why have you changed the proposal?
- CCAMLR is a consensus organisation, and without the agreement of every member the MPA cannot be established.
- The changes bring the proposal closer to agreement in a way that does not impact on other MPA objectives and further promotes research and scientific understanding in the Ross Sea region.
The proposal continues to balance marine protection, sustainable fishing and science interests and retains all the core elements for biodiversity protection and protects a full range of habitats, ecosystems and areas of particular ecological significance. If agreed, it would be the world’s biggest MPA.
The core elements of the proposal remain. Specifically, these include:
- the no-take (i.e. no fishing) General Protection Zone (GPZ) comprising the Ross Sea shelf and slope and the Balleny Islands (see (i) on the map);
- a second no-take GPZ providing representative protection for a range of seamounts and other habitats in the northwest (see (ii) on the map);
- a third no-take GPZ fully protected area around Scott Seamount (see (iii) on the map);
- a Special Research Zone (see SRZ on the map) which allows for limited research fishing, for krill and toothfish; and,
- a new Krill Research Zone in the (see KRZ on the map) to the north west of GPZ area (i), which allows for directed research fishing for krill.
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.
See a copy of the updated proposal below:
Map of the revised proposal
The proposed Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area, including the boundaries of the General Protection Zone (GPZ), composed of areas (i), (ii), and (iii), the Special Research Zone (SRZ), and, in the new revised proposal, the Krill Research Zone (KRZ).