After five years of negotiations it has been agreed that the Ross Sea in the Antarctica will become the world’s largest marine protected area. Around 250 delegates from 24 countries and the European Union met in Hobart Tasmania yesterday to make this landmark deal.
Similar to a national park these marine protected areas (MPA) are areas of the seas and oceans that restrict human activity for conservation purposes. This new historic agreement will protect the 1.55 million sq km of ocean and reduce illegal fishing. This area is seen by environmentalists as the Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystem so this new deal will go along away in safeguarding it into the future.
The region is home to penguins, seals, whales and krill and as one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the world it’s important site of research for scientists. The region also has huge impact on the rest of the ocean as a source of nutrients and as a food supply.
Earlier this year Obama announced a marine protected reserve in Hawaii and this was followed by news that the UK plan on four protected zones in the Pacific and Atlantic. All this news is great steps forward in protecting the future of the world’s oceans.
The effects of climate change, over fishing and pollution and having a seriously detrimental effect on our world’s oceans so this deal is welcome news.