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Murray McCully

17 July, 2013

No consensus at CCAMLR disappointing - McCully

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today expressed deep disappointment that the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) did not reach a consensus on the creation of a marine protected area (MPA) in the Ross Sea region.

A CCAMLR special meeting in Bremerhaven, Germany, this week considered two MPA proposals - the New Zealand-United States Ross Sea region MPA and another by Australia, France and the European Union for a network of MPAs in East Antarctica.

"I have been very open about how big a challenge it was going to be to achieve a consensus outcome at this special meeting. I am nevertheless deeply disappointed that an agreed MPA in the Ross Sea region has eluded us," Mr McCully says.

"Reports from the meeting make it clear that the vast majority of CCAMLR members have been flexible and constructive in seeking consensus.

"Reports also suggest that attempts to establish a consensus have been scuttled by the exercise of an effective veto.

"While there is room for reasonable differences to be held about the relative positions of conservation, science and fisheries in any Ross Sea region MPA, it is undeniable that those differences must be resolved through constructive dialogue.

"While that outcome has eluded us on this occasion, this debate will not simply go away. International pressure for responsible leadership will intensify and New Zealand has every intention of playing its full part in ultimately achieving the right outcome."