New Delhi: In a move that would make the environmentalists really happy, the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart, has given a thumbs up to create the largest marine protected area in the world.
The marine reserve, which is nearly twice the size of Texas, has been established off the coast of Antarctica this week.
As per reports, the isolated Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean, which is rich in wildlife, is outside the jurisdiction of any country. According to the deal, an area covering 598,000 square miles (1.55 million square kilometers) of this sea will be further protected from human activities like fishing.
Meanwhile, for research purposes, the agreement also established 322,000 square kilometers for krill research.
According to a report in Nature World News, "Today’s agreement is a turning point for the protection of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean," WWF-Australia Ocean Science Manager Chris Johnson said in a news article. “This is important not just for the incredible diversity of life that it will protect, but also for the contribution it makes to building the resilience of the world’s ocean in the face of climate change.”
After 35 years, the agreement will expire, but the delegates were positive that by that time, the world will be a lot different than having Ross Sea unprotected.
As per Live Science, New Zealand and the United States put forth the proposal to create this marine protected area, or MPA, in 2011. The original proposal would have covered a much bigger area of 875,000 square miles (2.3 million square km). But previous negotiations had failed because of opposition raised by some countries, most notably Russia.
"According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) guidelines, marine protected areas must be permanent," Chris Johnson, WWF-Australia Ocean Science Manager, said in a statement. "WWF has concerns that the Ross Sea agreement does not meet this standard," Live Science reported.