They demand that governments protect Antarctic fauna

They ask that the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources establish measures and create large marine protected areas.

23 de October de 2022 13:38

The exploitation of maritime resources in Antarctic waters puts all the fauna that inhabits the white continent on the brink of extinction.

NGOs urge governments that will participate this Monday in Hobart, Tasmania; the 41st annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources ( CCAMLR , or CCAMLR ) to act urgently to agree key measures to protect Antarctica's iconic wildlife as part of an essential plan to safeguard health of the planet.

The acceleration of the climate emergency is having important effects on the region and on the many species that breed and inhabit it. The meeting that will take place from October 24 to November 4 will continue to discuss proposals designed to protect an area of around 4 million square kilometers through the establishment of large marine protected areas (MPAs) in the region, as well as proposals aimed at promoting more rigorous measures for krill fishing that prevent long-term damage and a decline in fauna and habitats.

'Despite its small size, krill play an enormous role in the functioning and health of Antarctica. Almost all animal species in Antarctica either depend directly on krill for their survival or feed on it. other species that rely on krill as a food source. In recent years we have witnessed with concern a concentration of krill fishing operations that have made the majority of their catches in small areas close to the coast. CCAMLR must agree on measures to "Ensure that this fishery does not conflict with the feeding grounds of krill predators such as penguins and whales ," said Andrea Kavanagh , director of the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Foundation's work in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

"Industrial and highly concentrated krill fishing is having a significant impact in the Antarctic. There is an increased level of by-catch of humpback whales and other non-target species, and there are indications that fishing activity is coming into conflict with large congregations of emblematic fauna of the region that feed on krill.New research reveals that Antarctic krill play an important role in the Earth's carbon cycle and their abundance in the ecosystem is not only valuable to local wildlife, but also to all of humanity.

By Agenda Malvinas


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