International commission considering options for protecting Antarctic seas

By on October 22, 2013
Ross Ice Shelf (Credit: lin padgham, via Wikimedia Commons)

Ross Ice Shelf (Credit: lin padgham, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources is looking to propose a ban on fishing and oil drilling in areas throughout Antarctic seas, according to The Guardian. The proposed bans would cover much of the Southern Ocean and Ross Sea.

The commission, formed by international convention in 1982, is considering several different protection zones as it tries to accommodate the political interests of 24 nations, including Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States. All options on the table would help to protect seas that experts say are home to 10,000 unique species.

One proposal would establish 1.25 million square kilometers that would cover mostly the Ross Sea. Another would set up several smaller areas in seas around East Antarctica covering 1.9 million square kilometers. Still another proposed zone would focus on banning fishing in the Weddell Sea.

Image: Ross Ice Shelf (Credit: lin padgham, via Wikimedia Commons)

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