Ross Sea protection

March 21st, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Michael Field at Stuff reported:

The and have announced they are planning to create the world’s largest marine protected area.

The 4.9 million square kilometre MPA in would be nine times the size of New Zealand.

The plan has been announced in Washington by new US Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand ambassador to Washington, Mike Moore.

They were speaking at the screening the National Geographic Museum of The Last Ocean by New Zealand film-maker Peter Young. …

The US, the European Union and 23 other countries including New Zealand will decide in July whether to approve permanent protections for the Ross Sea and for a second area in East Antarctica, or to allow large-scale industrial fishing to continue.

An attempt last November to create the MPA at a meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, failed. …

Key areas to protect include a full range of marine habitats; from the ice edge to deep oceanic basins. The proposal protects the ecologically important features and habitats, including winter ice-free areas, the entire Victoria Coast from McMurdo Sound to Cape Adare, the Balleny Islands, and almost the entire Ross Sea continental shelf.

The large bulk of the MPA, the general protection zone, will be a no-take area.

Under the proposal the toothfish fishery would continue in areas outside the MPA.

It is good to have the US and NZ in agreement, as previously there were different proposals.

And it is good they are proposing a vast marine reserve for most of the Ross Sea.

But there is still an issue of whether the marine reserve should include the entire Ross Sea – just as all of Antarctica is protected for scientific research, not just some of it.

I don’t think there is a shortage of other areas to fish. Some ecosystems should be left undisturbed, and Antarctica is one of them.

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5 Responses to “Ross Sea protection”

  1. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    “I don’t think there is a shortage of other areas to fish”

    There are indications that we re overfishing and fish levels are dropping a lot faster than replacement and strictly speaking we probably don’t have enough areas to fish in if all one is after is fish. However, that’s another reason not to fish in the Ross Sea.

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  2. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    This is wonderful news, however, it would be even better if all of the Ross Sea was included.

    Whilst there are other areas to fish, unless there is a united effort to ensure the current levels of over-fishing are reduced, then there is simply not going to be enough in the future. The Ross Sea will again become vulnerable when stocks deplete elsewhere.

    Now, because we always like to ask for a little bit more, when we are given some, can we please make a more concerted effort to save the Maui.

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  3. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    This is ridiculously stupid. How does the reserve benefit anyone?

    If the problem is overfishing, then it should be a matter of policing quotas, and a treaty to that effect. But otherwise it’s simply a waste of good fish.

    It’s almost as stupid as protecting an entire continent from mining. We all know there’s a fuckload of oil down there, so why aren’t we going after it?

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  4. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,754 comments) says:

    New Zealand should be using its natural geographic location to exploit those natural resources.

    Typical New Zealand scared that someone might create some wealth. Anyone would think the country was full of hicks located at the ass end of the world.

    The sheeple of New Zealand seem so keen to become the Cyprus of the South Pacific. At least when you go bust the rest of the world can have a laugh when the IMF directs you sell 100% of all remaining state owned assets.

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  5. Paulus (2,672 comments) says:

    Surely Norman and Winkelman dressed token part Maori etc will object to this as the US are involved.

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