Plans for an Antarctic marine sanctuary have failed again. No decision was made at the recent government meeting in Australia, and officials have deferred the decision until July 2013.
Back in September, initial plans for the Antarctic marine sanctuary failed after the United States and New Zealand, who first suggested the sanctuary, couldn’t come to an agreement. Then, over the last two weeks, the sanctuary was a big part of discussions at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)’s 31st annual meeting in Hobart, Australia.
CCAMLR requires a consensus on all decisions, and unfortunately, the issue of the marine sanctuary in the Southern Ocean never even came to a vote.
New Zealand and the U.S. had initially proposed a 872,000-square-mile reserve in the Ross Sea and East Antarctic. Conservationists who supported the reserve wanted it to expand to over 1.9 million square miles. But, despite the 1.2 million people (according to the Antarctic Ocean Alliance) who supported the sanctuary, all efforts were blocked, primarily by China and Russia.
“There are competing interests, in terms of commercial interests and in terms of the economic control of these areas, we floundered essentially at the end of the talks,” Steve Campbell of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance told BBC News.
To learn more:
- Find out what happened the first time the sanctuary plans failed: Plans for Marine Sanctuary in Antarctic Fail
- Read this article to see what Leonardo DiCaprio had to say about it: Leonardo DiCaprio Fights for Antarctic Marine Sanctuary
- Check out this article from the New York Times: Group Adjourns Without Acting on Antarctic Reserve
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