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This has been a very memorable and exciting day in the history of CCAMLR — the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Four key achievements have been advanced:
• Establishing the world’s largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea
• Establishing 100% observer coverage in the krill fishery
• Adopting a 5-year extension of existing krill fishing limits in the Antarctic Peninsula
• Enabling special scientific study areas where ice shelves have retreated or collapsed
Oceanites attended the meetings as an invited observer and submitted three papers for consideration. One concerned the outcomes of the first Future of Antarctica Forum that Oceanites convened and held onboard the One Ocean Expeditions vessel Akademik Ioffe from 28 February to 9 March 2016 in the Antarctic Peninsula, during which Oceanites and its 22-year-old of data’ Antarctic Site Inventory (ASI) project were challenged to establish a new, international interdisciplinary effort to examine climate change and fishing impacts on penguin populations in the Antarctic Peninsula.
A second paper described the ongoing development of the Mapping Application for Penguin Populations and Projected Dynamics tool (MAPPPD), which The Lynch Lab for Quantitative Ecology (Stony Brook University) and NASA have developed for Oceanites (www.penguinmap.com).
The third paper reported on the history and ongoing data collection of Oceanites and the ASI, and highlighted Oceanites’ recent agreement with the Norwegian company Aker BioMarine to independently analyse the company’s krill fishing catch/effort data vis-a-vis data on penguin breeding/foraging locations and climate change impacts in the Antarctic Peninsula.
During the course of CCAMLR 35, Oceanites began assisting the Association of Responsible Antarctic Krill Harvesting Companies (ARK), of which Aker Biomarine is a founding and leading member, in developing a voluntary plan to refrain from fishing nearby penguin colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Ron Naveen, president and founder of Oceanites, said: “The conservation achievements at CCAMLR 35 are huge. The establishment of the Ross Sea MPA represents a most notable, excellent day in CCAMLR’s history. I hope that progress continues and I am especially excited about Oceanites’ forging the pathway ensuring that potential fishing impacts on Antarctic Peninsula penguin populations are either minimized or avoided altogether.”