New Zealand and United States officials have submitted an updated joint proposal to be considered at the October 2014 CCAMLR Commission meeting. The changes to the proposal include some relatively minor textual suggestions received from the other CCAMLR members at the October 2013 meeting, most of which relate to the preambular language, reporting on research and monitoring, and some aspects of the review process. It is largely a procedural step.
The boundaries remain the same in the updated proposal, which if agreed will cover roughly 1.34 million km2 (of which 1.25 million km2 is no-take). It 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.
The core elements of the revised proposal remain unchanged. Specifically, these include:
- the no-take General Protection Zone comprising the Ross Sea shelf and slope and the Balleny Islands (see (i) on the map); an area providing representative protection for a range of seamounts and other habitats in the northwest (see (ii) on the map); and a further 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.
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