Environment – Marine protected area project in East Antarctica (30 October 2017)

France, Australia, and the European Union have proposed the establishment of a marine protected area in a more than 900,000-square-kilometer zone in East Antarctica.

It would cover three sectors, one of which is located off the coast of Adelaide Island. This project would help preserve marine ecosystems and biodiversity, particularly by limiting fishing in certain areas. It would also make it easier to scientifically assess the impact of climate change.

This project was supported by a large majority of members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which met in Hobart, Australia, on October 15-27. Due to the opposition of two countries, however, it could not be achieved.

Working with its Australian partners and the EU, France will pursue its efforts to adopt this important project to protect ecosystems and diversity in the southern ocean.

As a reminder, in 2016, the Commission decided to establish a marine protected area in the Ross Sea. Other projects are also being studied in the Weddell Sea and the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula. The project in East Antarctica would complement this network of marine protected areas.

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