In 2017, SC-CAMLR endorsed the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area (RSRMPA) Research and Monitoring Plan (RMP, SWC-CAMLR-XXXVI/20), but this RMP has not been adopted by the Commission. Here, we present a revised RMP for the RSRMPA. As per standard practice in CCAMLR, the revised RMP is presented as a Rev. 1, track changes version of the original. We propose that SC-CAMLR endorse this revision and CCAMLR adopt the RMP this year. Adopting the RMP will enhance implementation of the RSRMPA.
We revised the RMP with the specific intent of facilitating future efforts to assess the effectiveness of the RSRMPA. Thus, the revised RMP is also a direct response to a suite of demands made by some Members. The revision incorporates SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) criteria for assessing the effectiveness of the RSRMPA using indicators that are rooted in baseline data and link to decision rules which aim to improve the effectiveness of the MPA. Forty-six SMART criteria for the RSRMPA were introduced to CCAMLR-SM-III and discussed by WG-EMM-2023. WG-EMM advised that the original 46 SMART criteria should be prioritized, and 20 priority SMART criteria are included in the revised RMP (the prioritization is documented in an accompanying background paper). All Members have had opportunity to comment on the SMART criteria, and the priority criteria included in the RMP have themselves been slightly revised to address some of those comments.