New Zealand and the United States submitted a revised version of the MPA proposal to CCAMLR in September 2015.
The key changes are:
- The Special Research Zone (SRZ) has been increased in size, with a corresponding increase in its catch limit. The proposed expansion of the Special Research Zone responds to Scientific Committee advice and is intended to address the identified desire by some Members, such as Russia, for fishing in this area while addressing the objectives of the MPA. In 2013, the Scientific Committee agreed on the importance of research in this location to study fish movement.
- The General Protection Zone has been reduced in size in the northwest (the area labelled (ii) below) to reflect a suggestion from Members’ that the area protected need only be where the unique bioregions occur and where gradients between bioregions are largest.
The proposal preserves its core conservation values. 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 proposal still covers roughly 1.25 million square kilometres (of which 1.14 million square kilometres is no-take). If agreed, it would still be the world’s biggest MPA.
The core elements of the proposal remain. 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);
- a further fully protected area around Scott Seamount (see (iii) on the map); and,
- 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