Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, there is increasing political momentum to address pressing environmental issues including the protection of the Southern Ocean. In addition to major statements of support for Antarctic MPAs from global leaders, ASOC and its partners have collected 1.5 million signatures on petitions calling for the designation of Antarctic MPAs in 2021.
ASOC therefore recommends that CCAMLR-40 answer these calls for action by:
1. Adopting the East Antarctic MPA (EAMPA) with no limit to its duration, incorporating all three proposed areas (MacRobertson, Drygalski and D’Urville Sea-Mertz).
2. Adopting Phase 1 of the Weddell Sea MPA (WSMPA) and work towards adopting Phase 2 no later than 2023. MPAs resulting from Phase 1 and Phase 2 should not have a limit to their duration.
3. Adopting the Domain 1 MPA (D1MPA), with no limit to its duration, including the extension of no-take zones to all areas previously identified as critical, such as the areas around Elephant Island, to ensure conservation objectives are met.
4. Continuing work to establish a representative system of comprehensive, adequate and representative MPAs, with significant no-take areas and no limits to their duration, across all planning domains in the Convention Area including Domain 9, the corridor connecting Sub-Antarctic islands in Domains 4, 5 and 6, and the additional four zones within the original East Antarctic MPA proposal.