December 1, 2020

Post CCAMLR Briefing: China’s Interest in Antarctica Waters

Ocean conservation followers were hoping that three new marine protected areas (MPA) around Antarctica would be approved during the 39th annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources (CCAMLR) last month. The meetings were online and with a shortened agenda that gave little time for the MPA discussions. Delegates will meet again at the same time next year – and that meeting will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty. It will also – we hope – be the year that China hosts the UN Biodiversity conference.

China didn’t align their support for new marine protected areas during CCAMLR meetings despite new research led by Chinese scientists confirmed that warming seas are forcing Antarctica KRILL – a small crustacean critical to the marine food web there – to migrate to colder waters. Will China – one of the largest krill fishing nations in the world – put aside its fishing interests to protect the southern ocean at CCAMLR meetings next year?

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