Target: The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
Goal: Establish new protected marine wildlife areas
The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources has met in Tasmania to discuss the establishment of 19 new protected marine environment areas. The commission membership includes the entirety of the European Union, as well as 24 other nations, including the United States, and will be hearing four individual conservation proposals.
One of the proposals, put forth by the main E.U. body, would protect 1.9 million square kilometers of sea off of Antarctica’s eastern coast. The battle over which plan to go with has grown surprisingly contentious but any of them would provide crucial protection to Antarctic waters. Right now the United States plan and New Zealand’s plan are the two being fought over the most. New Zealand’s plan would protect an awe-inspiring amount of ocean. The U.S. plan would set aside a chunk for scientific research, with an absolute ban on commercial fishing in research areas. All of the current stress and infighting within the CCAMLR is well meant—all the members want to protect the Antarctic Ocean.
It is absolutely vital to protect these waters, not only so we can enhance our scientific understanding of the oceans and the life therein, but also to study the effects of climate change. The opportunity to examine what effect the ongoing collapse of the ice shelf has on underwater ecosystems in real time would be of great scientific and ecological value.
Obviously setting aside areas for scientific research would be ideal, but any of the plans proposed would be a great environmental gain. As we have learned in the past few decades Earth’s oceans are distressingly fragile. If we hope to continue to live in a world with bountiful seas that teem with life it is of the utmost necessity that the international community takes proactive steps to protect the world’s oceans. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources plans to further protect the Antarctic is helping that cause; take a moment and thank them for their commitment.
Dear Members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources,
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to protect Antarctic waters; they are often forgotten about by the general public, but represent a phenomenal wealth of scientific potential and ocean life. The plans you are discussing at your summit will surely be a massive step forward in protecting the Antarctic Ocean and better understanding aquatic ecosystems.
You are discussing several plans, proposed by a number of nations; my understanding is that there is a fair amount of contention concerning which plan you should go with. You all obviously care tremendously about the conservation of Antarctic marine life to have such heated debates concerning it. However, you should all take comfort in knowing that any of the proposed plans will truly help protect the ocean.
Protecting the Antarctic, and all of the Earth’s oceans, is of vital importance. They are fragile ecosystems that are under a seemingly unending threat. Our oceans teem with life; some of it is critically endangered, and all of it should be protected. Furthermore, and maybe even more importantly, the study of the Antarctic ice shelf is vital to understanding trends in climate change. Any new opportunity to examine these trends and find new ways to combat them is a positive step for the world.
Thank you for caring about the Antarctic and doing so much to conserve its precious waters; I feel confident that whichever plan you choose to go with will be highly effective.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: NOAA Photo Library via flickr