Nations to Designate Antarctic Marine Protected Areas?
A meeting of 24 nations and the European Union in mid-July will decide the fate of two proposed ocean reserves in Antarctica.
If designated, the two sanctuaries would become the largest marine reserves on the planet. But the proposals must first be approved by a group of 24 nations and the European Union at a meeting this July 11 to 16 in Bremerhaven, Germany (map).
The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)—established by international consensus in 1982 to safeguard Antarctic marine life—called the special July meeting to discuss the revised proposals. But there are concerns that the sanctuaries could be stripped of any meaning on the way to being approved.
If adopted, the MPAs would cover an area about the size of India. One proposal, submitted by the United States and New Zealand, would cover a 600,000-square-mile