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Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

Coordinates: 42°53′12″S 147°19′28″E / 42.8866992°S 147.3243362°E / -42.8866992; 147.3243362
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Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
Formation20 May 1980 (44 years ago) (1980-05-20)
TypeInternational organization
HeadquartersHobart, Australia
Coordinates42°53′12″S 147°19′28″E / 42.8866992°S 147.3243362°E / -42.8866992; 147.3243362
Area served
26 Member States + 11 Acceding States
Executive Secretary
Dr David Agnew

The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, also known as the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, and CCAMLR, is part of the Antarctic Treaty System.

The convention was opened for signature on 1 August 1980 and entered into force on 7 April 1982 by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, headquartered in Tasmania, Australia. The goal is to preserve marine life and environmental integrity in and near Antarctica.

It was established in large part to concerns that an increase in krill catches in the Southern Ocean could have a serious impact on populations of other marine life which are dependent upon krill for food.[1][2]

In 1989, CCAMLR set up the Ecosystem Monitoring Program (CEMP) to further monitor the effects of fishing and harvesting of species in the area.

On 19 October 2022, Ecuador became a New Member of the Commission, the 26th member of the CCAMLR.[3]

Member states[edit]

Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources Map
Acceding and Member State[4] Acceding States only[5]
 Argentina  Bulgaria
 Australia  Canada
 Belgium  Cook Islands
 Brazil  Finland
 Chile  Greece
 China  Mauritius
 Ecuador  Pakistan
 European Union  Panama
 France  Peru
 Germany  Vanuatu
 South Korea
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 United Kingdom
 United States

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)[edit]

In 2009, the Commission agreed by consensus to creating a representative network of MPAs by 2012. It was the first international body to do this based on recommendations from the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development. In 2011, it identified nine planning domains within which to designate these protected areas.[6][7][8]

Marine Protected Area Size Status Proposed Proposed by Designated
South Orkneys 94,000 km2 Designated United Kingdom 2009[9]
Ross Sea 1,550,000 km2[10] Designated 2012[11] New Zealand, United States 2016[12]
East Antarctica 950,000 km2 Proposal 2010[13] Australia, France, European Union[13] N/A
Weddell Sea 1,800,000 km2 Proposal 2016[14] Germany, European Union N/A
Antarctic Peninsula 450,000 km2 Proposal 2018 Argentina, Chile N/A

South Orkneys MPA[edit]

In 2009, the Commission agreed by consensus to establish the world's first high-seas MPA to protect ocean surrounding the South Orkney Islands in the south Atlantic Ocean.[11][9]

It was proposed by the United Kingdom and covers 94,000 km2. It came into force in May 2010.[9]

Ross Sea MPA[edit]

In 2010, a proposal for an MPA in the Ross Sea were put forward by both the US and New Zealand. These were later combined as a joint proposal.[11]

In July 2013, the Commission held a special meeting in Bremerhaven to consider proposals for MPAs in both the Ross Sea and East Antarctica. Consensus was not reached after Russia voted against the proposals, citing uncertainty about whether the commission had the authority to establish a protected area.[15][11]

On 28 October 2016, after several years of scientific and diplomatic discussions, the Commission agreed by consensus to designate the Ross Sea marine protected area at its annual meeting in Hobart. The protected area covers 1.55 million square kilometres of ocean, of which 72% is a no-take zone. The remaining 28% include some harvesting of fish and krill for the purpose of scientific research.[11]

The Ross Sea MPA will be in force for 35 years. At the end of its review period in 2052, CCAMLR Members must agree by consensus to renew or modify it as needed.[16][17][11]

East Antarctic MPA[edit]

In 2010, Australia, France and the European Union submitted a proposal for an MPA in East Antarctica. It originally included seven representative areas with varying degrees of protection and covered 1.8 million square kilometres of ocean. By 2017, these were scaled back to three areas covering just under 1 million square kilometres. This was due to the political concerns and economic interests expressed by some Member states. The proposal was also amended to include an expiration of 30 years after designation and the ability to review its monitoring and management every ten years. It has been under consideration by the Commission since 2012.[18][13][19]


  1. ^ "Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources". ccamlr.org. 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  2. ^ Antonello, Alessandro (4 July 2019), "Seeing the Southern Ocean Ecosystem: Enlarging the Antarctic Community", The Greening of Antarctica, Oxford University Press, pp. 109–138, doi:10.1093/oso/9780190907174.003.0005, ISBN 978-0-19-090717-4, retrieved 11 April 2023
  3. ^ "New Member – Ecuador | CCAMLR". www.ccamlr.org. Retrieved 26 March 2023.
  4. ^ "Members of the Commission". Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Acceding States | CCAMLR". www.ccamlr.org. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  6. ^ Brooks, Cassandra (2013). "Competing values on the Antarctic high seas: CCAMLR and the challenge of marine-protected areas". ResearchGate. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Conservation Measure 91-04 (2011) | CCAMLR". www.ccamlr.org. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  8. ^ Report of the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the Commission (PDF). Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). 2009. p. 23.
  9. ^ a b c "South Orkneys Marine Protected Area - News - British Antarctic Survey". Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  10. ^ Trade, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and. "Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area". New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) | CCAMLR". www.ccamlr.org. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  12. ^ "World's Largest Marine Reserve Created Off Antarctica". National Geographic News. 27 October 2016. Archived from the original on 28 October 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  13. ^ a b c "A Marine Protected Area for East Antarctica". www.antarctica.gov.au. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  14. ^ "The Ocean Conference | 5–9 June 2017 | Marine Protected Area in the Weddell-Sea, Antarctica". oceanconference.un.org. Archived from the original on 24 December 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  15. ^ New Scientist, No. 2926, 20 July, "Fight to preserve last pristine ecosystem fails"
  16. ^ "Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA)". NIWA. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Antarctica's Ross Sea massive marine protected area comes into force". Newshub. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  18. ^ Brooks, Cassandra. "Why are talks over an East Antarctic marine park still deadlocked?". The Conversation. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  19. ^ Kavanagh, Andrea (October 2014), Protecting East Antarctic Waters (PDF), PEW Charitable Trusts

External links[edit]