New measures for the conservation of marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean - outcomes of the CCAMLR Meeting

New measures for the conservation of marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean - outcomes of the CCAMLR Meeting

25 delegations (these are nearly 300 oceanologists and authorized government representatives) during the two weeks of the 37th meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) held in the Australian city of Hobart considered new measures for the conservation and rational use of marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean.

Research and monitoring plans for existing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), as well as proposals for the creation of three new MPAs in East Antarctica, the Weddell Sea and the western part of Antarctic were the main subject of discussion, for which consensus has not yet been reached. So, member countries will continue to work on these proposals, which will obviously be finalized or substantially revised before they come back to consideration at the next meeting in 2019.

At the same time, the Scientific Committee of the Commission recorded the lowest mortality rate of seabirds during sea fishery in the history of CCAMLR, as well as the lowest level of illegal, unregistered and unregulated (IUU) fishing. These achievements point to the effectiveness of CCAMLR activities and the well-coordinated cooperation of its member countries.

In addition, the Commission has approved a new satellite observation project funded by France and the EU, which should improve the detection of IUU fishing.

As a result of the work, the Commission has decided to include in the register of vulnerable marine ecosystems four new sites in the Eastern part of the Antarctic Peninsula and three sites in the South Orkney Islands.

The Commission has also decided to establish a special fund for capacity building and hold a workshop on this issue in Cape Town (South Africa) in 2019, which will consider ways to involve member countries in active participation in the work of the Commission and increase their contribution to the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources.

The Ukrainian delegation, consisting of experts from the Institute of Fisheries and Marine Ecology (IFME), the State Institution National Antarctic Scientific Center (NASC), as well as representatives of Ukrainian Fishery Companies, participated in the work of the Commission.

According to the results of the Ukrainian delegation, the participation of all vessels under the State flag of Ukraine declared for fishing in the season 2018-2019 was confirmed.

The commission has also agreed on plans of scientific researches of Ukraine for 2018-2019 season developed by IFME.

The Scientific Committee of CCAMLR approved the reports submitted by Ukraine on the observation of penguins using automatic cameras at the Ukrainian Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky Station and called for the continuation of this work and discussion of the received observational data obtained during the inter-sessional period.

During the meeting the delegates have also discussed the international survey of Antarctic krill planned in the coming months in the Atlantic sector of Antarctica. The participating countries will be Norway, China, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea, Chile and Ukraine.

A properly equipped vessel “MORE SODRUZHESTVA” for the survey is provided by the Ukrainian company “INTERPROMFLOT” Ltd. Experts from the Institute of Fisheries and Marine Ecology ((IFME ), the National Antarctic Scientific Center (NASC) and the Ukrainian Scientific Center of Ecology of the Sea (UkrSCES) will conduct surveys and research on board the ship.

During the bilateral consultations the CCAMLR Executive Secretary noted the more active involvement of Ukraine in such aspects of the Commission’s activities as research and observation. Based on the results of the negotiations, it was decided to organize working meetings and a training seminar for Ukrainian scientists involved in the implementation of CCAMLR scientific programs, with the participation of specialists from its Secretariat within the framework of the IX International Antarctic Conference (IX IAC 2019), scheduled to be held in Kiev on May 14-16, 2019.