As the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is just a few days away more and more organizations, and institutions are urging decision makers to come to a consensus and create protected marine reserve in Antarctica.
The latest to voice its support for such a marine reserve in the Southern Ocean is World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as it believes that the protected marine reserve in Antarctica will help mitigate the effects of climate change and preserve life on the continent.
WWF has made the request in its report that will be presented to the CCAMLR next week in Australia where proposals will be addressed to create protected marine areas. WWF has analyzed the situation in the Southern ocean and the continent and points out that there is a need to conserve the biodiversity of the region as it will enable us to fight against climate change and the creation of marine protected areas.
According to the organization, one-third of the colonies of Adelie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) could disappear by 2060 due to the impact of climate change on their food sources such as krill and fish.
The WWF also warned of the emergence of a 130-kilometer-long crack in the Larsen C, Antarctica’s fourth largest ice shelf of some 50,000 square kilometers, and the setback of 596 from 674 glaciers on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.
“Climate change has a profound impact on the entire Antarctic as it poses an increasing risk to habitats and biodiversity through the loss of sea ice, warming waters and acidification,” said the marine scientist at WWF, Christopher Johnson, in a statement.
Conservationists urge the CCAMLR to approve the proposals for the creation of reserves in the Ross Sea and in East Antarctica, as a measure to mitigate the impact of climate change on the white continent and the waters surrounding it.
Last year, the CCAMLR did not approve the proposal from the United States and New Zealand to protect an area of about 1.5 million square kilometers in the Ross Sea, or that from Australia, France and the European Union for the creation of a one-million-square-kilometer reserve in the eastern waters of Antarctica.
The WWF’s report also points out necessary measures such as monitoring krill fishing, protecting emblematic species, and preventing invasive species and pollution.
The organization said that the significant progress on two issues has been achieved: curbing illegal, unreported or unregulated fisheries, and reducing bycatch of birds.
The Antarctic Ocean is home to more than 10,000 unique species, including most of the world’s community of penguins, whales, seabirds, giant squid and southern cod fish, the main target of fishing companies operating in the region.