A new agreement has just created the largest marine sanctuary on the planet, and leaders are hailing it as a great success for the environment.
A total of 24 nations and the European Union have reached a huge new agreement to established the largest marine protect area in the world in the Ross Sea in Antarctica. The area will start being protected on Dec. 2017. It spans 600,000 square miles of ocean, a total of 28 percent of which will be set aside as research zones, and commercial fishing will not be allowed anywhere in the protected area.
The Ross Sea is an important environmental area that is home to a huge variety of marine life ranging from whales to fish to penguins to krill. Overfishing threatens the delicate ecosystems of these areas, and this new protected zone would aim to prevent further encroachment by human activity.
The agreement was reached at the meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart, Australia.
CCAMLR Executive Secretary, Andrew Wright, said in the statement that it was an exciting achievement.
“This has been an incredibly complex negotiation which has required a number of Member countries bringing their hopes and concerns to the table at six annual CCAMLR meetings as well as at intersessional workshops. A number of details regarding the MPA are yet to be finalised but the establishment of the protected zone is in no doubt and we are incredibly proud to have reached this point,” said Wright.