Agreement to protect Ross Sea reached

  • Murray McCully
Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today hailed a breakthrough agreement that will create the world’s largest Marine Protected Area in the Ross Sea region of the Antarctic.

“At its annual meeting in Hobart this week, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) unanimously agreed to a New Zealand-United States proposal to establish a marine protected area in the Ross Sea,” Mr McCully says.

“New Zealand has played a leading role in reaching this agreement which makes a significant contribution to global marine protection.

“The new Marine Protected Area will cover roughly 1.55 million square kilometres, of which 1.12 million square kilometres will be a no fishing zone.

“The proposal required some changes in order to gain the unanimous support of all 25 CCAMLR members and the final agreement balances marine protection, sustainable fishing and science interests. The boundaries of the MPA, however, remain unchanged.

“Negotiations on the MPA started in 2012 and New Zealand would like to acknowledge all parties for coming together to reach an agreement that will safeguard one of the world’s few remaining pristine natural environments,” Mr McCully says.

The Marine Protected Area will enter into force on 1 December 2017.

For more details on the Marine Protected Area in the Ross Sea region of the Antarctic please visit the MFAT website.