Friday, November 2, 2012

To Hell With The Ross Sea

Hell, why on earth would anyone want to protect the Ross Sea...when their fishing boats could strip-mine it first? Get REAL!!
A bid to safe-guard the Ross Sea's pristine eco-system with the world's largest marine protected area has failed. NZ and the US had proposed a 2.27m sq km reserve, including a 1.6m sq km no-take zone, but yesterday the 25-nation Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) failed to agree. Not surprisingly the talks fizzled after fishing nations blocked progress.
In particular, Russia and China hid behind procedural concerns and made it impossible for constructive dialogue to occur. The Ukraine forgot the conservation mandate of CCAMLR completely, pretending not to know that fishing interests are not the only consideration. Korea and Japan have a long way to go if they want to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Stopping Ross Sea commercial fishing is a "no brainer"... yet even NZ wants its share: last year's catch of 730 tonnes means the Ross Sea toothfish industry has a $20m export value to NZ companies. So NZ can't hold itself up at conferences like these, and try to look holier-than-thou...
At the end of the day it all boils down to financial gain and wanting a piece of the action, despite what the public wants. Public support for Antarctic marine protection had grown significantly this year with more than 30 international environmental organisations convening and amassing more than 1.2m calls for large-scale protection... what should that tell the powers-that-be?

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