The Delegation of Germany presents to the Scientific Committee the scientific background in support of the development of a marine protected area (MPA) in the Weddell Sea planning area. In accordance with the recommendations by WG-EMM-14 (SC-CAMLR-XXIII, Annex 6), this was done in three separate documents (Part A-C). SC-CAMLR-XXXV/BG/11 (Part A) sets out the general context of the establishment of CCAMLR-MPAs and provides the background information on the Weddell Sea MPA (WSMPA) planning area; SC-CAMLR-XXXV/BG/12 (Part B) informs on the data retrieval process and SC-CAMLR-XXXV/BG/13 (Part C) describes the methods and the results of the scientific analyses as well as the development of the objectives and finally of the borders for the WSMPA.
Earlier versions of Parts A-C were already presented at the meetings of EMM in 2015 and 2016 and SC-CAMLR in 2015. At the CCAMLR meeting in 2015 the Scientific Committee did recognise that the body of science of the background documents provides the necessary foundation for developing a WSMPA proposal (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV, § 5.11), which is being submitted separately to 35th meeting of the CAMLR Commission.
Here, the Delegation of Germany presents the final version of Part A to the Scientific Committee. Part A has undergone final editorial corrections in the 2015/16 intersessional period and contains (i) a synopsis in terms of the establishment of MPAs (chapter 1); (ii) a description of the boundaries of the WSMPA planning area (chapter 2); (iii) a comprehensive, yet succinct, general description of the Weddell Sea ecosystem (chapter 3); (iv) and finally a guidance regarding the future work beyond the development of the scientific basis for the evaluation of a WSMPA (chapter 4).