Plan for huge Antarc­tic ma­rine re­serve re­jected

The Guardian Weekly - - Global report -

A plan to turn a huge tract of pris­tine Antarc­tic ocean into the world’s big­gest sanc­tu­ary has been re­jected, throw­ing the fu­ture of one of the Earth’s most im­por­tant ecosys­tems into doubt.

En­vi­ron­men­tal groups said Rus­sia, China and Nor­way had played a part in block­ing the pro­posal, with the other 22 mem­bers of the Com­mis­sion for the Con­ser­va­tion of Antarc­tic Ma­rine Liv­ing Re­sources, the or­gan­i­sa­tion set up to pro­tect Antarc­tic wa­ters, back­ing the pro­posal.

The 1.8m sq km re­serve would have banned all fish­ing in a vast area of the Wed­dell Sea and parts of the Antarc­tic penin­sula, safe­guard­ing species in­clud­ing pen­guins, killer whales, leop­ard seals and blue whales. Guardian view, page 49

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