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    A proposal for the establishment of a Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area

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    Delegations of New Zealand and the USA
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    Admin Admin (CCAMLR Secretariat)

    The delegations of New Zealand and the United States submit this revised proposal for the establishment by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Commission or CCAMLR) of a marine protected area (MPA) in the Ross Sea Region (“Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area”). First submitted at CCAMLR XXXI in October 2012 and again at CCAMLR SM-II in July 2013 (CCAMLR-SM-II/04), our delegations propose that CCAMLR establish this MPA to conserve marine living resources; maintain ecosystem structure and function; protect vital ecosystem processes and areas of ecological significance; and promote scientific research, including through the establishment of reference areas. We thank Members for the many constructive discussions and comments regarding the Ross Sea Region MPA proposal at the recent meetings of the Scientific Committee and Commission in Bremerhaven in July 2013, and thank the Scientific Committee for its extensive efforts to develop its advice (SC-CAMLR-IM-I Report). After careful consideration of that advice, the proposal has been revised. Among the key revisions are changes to the proposed MPA boundaries in the areas of the northern seamounts and Scott seamount; changes to the catch limit formula in the Special Research Zone as a percentage of the overall catch limit for the Ross Sea fishery, thus linking this catch limit to the Scientific Committee’s regular stock-assessment process; and clarifying that the Commission may amend the MPA Conservation Measure following each 10-year review. We look forward to working together with Members at CCAMLR XXXII to achieve consensus to establish an MPA in the Ross Sea Region.