PHOTOS: Australia Pushes For More Marine Protected Areas In Antarctica

Adelie penguins on ice. Image: David Barringhaus/Australian Antarctic Division

Australia is hopeful a revised proposal for new Marine Protected Areas off East Antarctica will be supported at the annual Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

The joint Australia, France and European Union Marine Protected Area proposal was initially put forward in 2011 and covers 1.9 million square kilometres over seven separate areas.

The current proposal, being considered at a meeting in Hobart, covers one million square kilometres over four areas.

Tony Fleming, director of the Australian Antarctic Division, hopes the adjustments will mean there is consensus about the proposal.

“We are confident the new proposal will adequately protect representative areas of biodiversity in the region, including areas that are vulnerable to disturbance and which play an important ecological role, such as toothfish and krill nursery areas, and foraging habitat for marine mammals and penguins,” Dr Fleming says.

A Wendell seal pup. Image: Mike Zupanc/Australian Antarctic Division.

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