Brought into effect in the spring of 1982, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is the only international agreement which gives protection to wildlife living in the Antarctic. CCAMLR forbids the killing or wounding of any native bird or mammal - except whales - without a permit, and states that damage to and interference with habitats should be minimised.
On the 28th October 2016 at its annual meeting in Hobart, Tasmania, a Ross Sea marine park was finally declared by the CCAMLR, under an agreement signed by 24 countries and the European Union. It protects 1.57 million square kilometres of sea, and is the world's largest marine protected area. Commercial fishing is banned within the marine protected area for 35 years.
The Ross Sea, together with its shelf and slope only comprise 2% of the Southern Ocean. However, 38% of the world's Adelie penguins live there, along with 30% of the world's Antarctic petrels and around 6% of the world's population of Antarctic minke whales. The Ross Sea is also home to huge numbers of krill, a staple food for species including whales and seals. Their oil is critical for salmon farming. However there are concerns that overfishing and climate change are having significant impacts on their numbers.
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