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    Non-native Species in the Antarctic: Report of a Workshop

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    Document Number:
    SC-CAMLR-XXV/BG/21
    Author(s):
    Delegation of New Zealand
    Agenda Item(s)
    Abstract

    Worldwide, invasive alien species are contributing to a global biodiversity crisis. In the marine environment, invasive alien species are recognized as the fifth largest threat to global marine biodiversity. To date Antarctica has escaped the most significant impacts from invasive alien species, but the continent and Southern Ocean can no longer be considered immune. More than 200 non-native species have been discovered on the sub-Antarctic islands and several non-native species have been found south of 60° South, including, for example, male and female specimens of the North Atlantic Spider crab Hyas araneus.
    It is no longer possible to regard Antarctica’s isolation and harsh climate as a natural barrier to introduced species. Increased visitation through national programmes, tourism and fishing activity, as well as a changing, more benign climate (particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula) mean that the risks of new species being introduced and becoming established are increasing.
    To assess these risks and begin to consider actions to address them, New Zealand hosted a workshop on non-native species and Antarctica, in April 2006. The outcomes to the workshop were presented in a series of papers to the ninth meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP).
    CCAMLR’s Article II requires its Parties to take account of the effects of introduction of alien species. CEP IX suggested therefore that the workshop outcomes be presented also to CCAMLR’s Scientific Committee.
    SC-CAMLR is invited to consider the findings of the “Non-native Species in the Antarctic” Workshop, and consider actions that may need to be taken to minimize the risk of introducing invasive species as a result of activities within CCAMLR’s purview.
    In light of the requirements of Article II of the Convention, the Scientific Committee is invited to consider:
    • What data collected under the auspices of CCAMLR may assist the CEP’s consideration of this matter?
    • What aspects of commercial fishing activity may prove to be high risk in respect of transporting non-native species into Antarctic waters?

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