Keep Out of the Ross Sea
In October 2016, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) created a new marine protected area (MPA) in the Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean. When activated at the end of the year, this MPA will be the largest in the world.
The Commission was created in 1982 and is part of the Antarctic Treaty system. As such, its actions are binding on the treaty signatories. Membership includes delegates from 24 nations plus the European Union who meet annually in Hobart, Australia.
In 2009, the Commission created the first protected area in the Antarctic’s South Orkney Islands. Covering an area of 36,000 square miles, it was also the first protected area established in international waters. All others are in territorial waters or exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of coastal states where those governments regulate their MPAs.