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Antarctic Marine Sanctuary Proposal Fails

A proposal submitted jointly by the United States and New Zealand to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources earlier this month has failed to pass. The proposal would have greatly limited fishing in the Ross Sea, home to wildlife including penguins and seals. Supporters had argued for the creation of a sanctuary there for both scientific and conservationist reasons, but other members of the commission had different matters at stake.

 

Leopard seal, a species native to the Ross Sea. Photo by giladr, Flickr.Leopard seal, a species native to the Ross Sea. Photo by giladr, Flickr.

 

Earlier this month, representatives from 25 nations met to consider the proposal. Some supporters expressed the desire to use the Ross Sea as a place to monitor the effects of climate change, away from extensive human influence; other supporters argued that the colonies of seals and penguins living there should be left alone.

 

Adelie penguins, a species native to the Ross SeaAdelie penguins, a species native to the Ross Sea

 

However, several nations, including the Ukraine, Russia and China, opposed the measure. They argued that the proposal, which would severely restrict fishing in the Ross Sea, would unduly limit their catch of toothfish (also known as Chilean sea bass.) They said that current fishing rates are small and sustainable.

 

ToothfishToothfish

 

Since the 25 nations could not come to consensus, the proposal did not pass. The commission will meet again in July. It is expected that the proposal, or a modified version of it, will be submitted for further consideration at that time.

 

Sources: MSNBC    Ecorazzi

 

 

Cindi Brown
Animal Blogger
PetsLady.com

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