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27 October 2017

For Immediate Release

Commenting on the failure of CCAMLR member states to agree a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) for East Antarctica, Rod Downie, Head of Polar Programmes at WWF said:

“It is hugely disappointing that, despite almost a decade of negotiations, CCAMLR member states have once again failed to reach agreement on a new Marine Protected Area for East Antarctica.

"Following the recent catastrophic breeding failures at an Adélie penguin colony in the region, WWF and our many supporters across the world had hoped that all CCAMLR members would recognise the urgent need to protect critical feeding areas in East Antarctic waters.

"As millions of people across the UK sit in front of their TV’s at home, amazed by the incredible marine life of our ‘blue planet’, one of its most awe-inspiring regions remains at risk in East Antarctica. The work must start now to secure a deal at next year’s meeting on meaningful and lasting protection for the home of the penguins.”

Notes

1. CCAMLR is the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

2. Discussions and agreements were stalled and blocked for many Antarctic marine issues considered at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). CCAMLR was considering proposals on marine protected areas and climate change in addition to its usual work on compliance and enforcement.

3. A proposal put forward by Australia, the EU and France for a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in East Antarctic waters since 2010 did not gain the required consensus. Despite good faith attempts by delegations supportive of the proposal to understand and address their concerns, Russia and China could not come to an agreement with other CCAMLR Members.