Antarctic Marine Protection Is Working

Antarctic Marine Protection Is Working

Editor’s note: This is a response to WPR’s Global Insider interview with Alan D. Hemmings, “Marine Reserve Failure Undermines Antarctic Treaty States’ Credibility.”

Characterizing the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) as a “failure” due to its inability to agree on marine reserves in the Antarctic is unnecessarily alarmist and a misrepresentation of the enduring robustness of this group of decision-makers. While there is a need for Antarctic marine protections, the existing process is working.

The CCAMLR’s members are bound by obligations contained within the international Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the subsequent legally binding conservation measures adopted by consensus at the body’s past 31 annual meetings. The convention and the commission itself are core elements of the Antarctic Treaty System, which recognizes the region as a “natural reserve devoted to peace and science.”

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