Antarctica's Ross Sea designated world's largest marine protected area

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Antarctica's Ross Sea designated world's largest marine protected area

October 28, 2016 - 22:51

Today, the creatures living in the Ross Sea in the Antarctica go about their daily lives, the same way their ancestors have always done for thousands of years.

Thin rafted sea ice in Ross Sea.

They would be oblivious to the fact that on 28 October 2016, their home was declared a marine protected area (MPA), which meant that no commercial fishing activity would be conducted within its waters.

This agreement, who had the blessings of the European Union and the 24 member states of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Life Resources (CCAMLR), will come into effect on 1 December 2017. The area will be the world's largest MPA, covering about 1.5 million square kilometres.

“This is a major step in marine conservation not just for the Antarctic but internationally,” said Evan Bloom, head of the United States delegation.

Environmental groups have hailed the agreement as a historic milestone in marine conservation. The announcement was also welcomed by the Ross family. Sir James Clark Ross had discovered the Ross Sea in 1841. Today, his great, great, great granddaughter Phillipa Ross said, “The Ross family are euphoric that our family legacy has been honoured in the 175th anniversary year since James first discovered the Ross Sea.”

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