All countries have finally reached an agreement meaning that the Ross Sea will become the largest marine reservation worldwide.
The Antarctica reserve has been declared an official Marine Protected Area. The Ross Sea covers around 1.55 million km2 meaning about 598,000 square miles. More precisely, this marine reserve is twice larger than Texas, and it is regarded as the Antarctic Serengeti or the Last Ocean.
This rich ecosystem is home to more than 10,000 species such as the emperor and Adélie penguins, seals, minke whales, and orcas among others. Fortunately, it hasn’t been affected by pollution, invasive species, excessive fishing, and other human-related impacts.
Thanks to this, the Ross Sea was able to flourish as it became the ideal environment for so many marine creatures. Over the past few years, fishing trawlers started to represent a threat to the toothfish population.
Commercial fishing will now be tackled by this agreement ratified by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). This agreement will become official in December, next year, when officials will forbid fishing in 72% of the marine reserve.
This initiative aims to reduce krill fishing as well for at least five years, whereas all ships will have to make sure they don’t affect the breeding grounds and food source surrounding the Ross Sea.
This agreement organized by the United States and New Zealand, and was finally approved by when Russia decided to come on board. This marine reserve represents the joint efforts of the EU and other 24 countries.
According to Mike Walker, Antarctic Ocean Alliance Project Director, the protection limit has been set to only 35 years, although scientists strongly recommend a much longer term. This initiative represents just a first step in a long journey to create new reservations designed to protect and preserved all endangered species across the world.
According to John Kerry, United States Secretary of State, the Ross Sea is not just a major step towards marine protection but a large natural laboratory which will provide researchers with reliable data.
Using this valuable information, experts from all countries will be able to understand climate change better and develop efficient strategies to address this issue.
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