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Marine Conservation Institute Applauds International Cooperation to Protect the Healthiest Marine Ecosystem on Earth

For Immediate Release

Seattle, WA—Marine Conservation Institute applauds the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources’ (CCAMLR) unanimous decision to designate a marine protected area (MPA) in the Ross Sea. Once the new protection goes into effect on December 1, 2017, it will be the largest protected area on the planet at 598,000 square miles (1.55 million square km). Importantly, 432,000 square miles (1.11 million square km) will be fully-protected from fishing and other extractive uses.

“The new Ross Sea protected area will safeguard the near-pristine, incredibly rich ecosystems at the bottom of the Earth and create an important refuge for marine life against our rapidly changing climate. Penguins, whales, seals and seabirds are supported by the nutrient-rich waters of the sea at the edge of the Antarctic ice shelf and beyond,” said Dr. Lance Morgan, President of Marine Conservation Institute.

He continued, “This agreement, initiated by the United States, New Zealand and a coalition of environmental NGOs, shows that an international body can take joint action to preserve the high seas, or areas beyond any single nation’s boundaries. As a founding member of the High Seas Alliance that seeks international cooperation to establish many more protected areas on the high seas, Marine Conservation Institute hopes this historic action will pave the way for a new international treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to protect biological diversity in the rest of high seas and seabed. This new treaty currently under negotiation at the United Nations is essential if we are to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030—a target many marine scientists agree is necessary to effectively protect life in the ocean from the worst impacts of climate change.”

Once the new Ross Sea marine reserve goes into effect, 3.41% of the global ocean will be in protected areas, and 1.95% will be strongly protected in marine reserves. Source:

Once the new Ross Sea marine protected area goes into effect, 3.41% of the global ocean will be in protected areas, and 1.95% will be strongly protected in marine reserves. Source:


About Marine Conservation Institute

Marine Conservation Institute is a team of highly-experienced marine scientists and environmental policy advocates dedicated to saving ocean life for us and future generations. The organization’s goal is to help create an urgently-needed worldwide system of strongly protected areas—the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES)—a strategic, cost-effective way to ensure the future diversity and abundance of marine life. To enhance marine protection efforts in the US and around the globe, Marine Conservation Institute has also built the world’s most comprehensive online marine protected area database at

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For more information, media and bloggers only, please contact:

Mike Gravitz, Director of Policy and Legislation

Marine Conservation Institute

Email –

Phone- +1 301 351 5052


Lance Morgan, President

Marine Conservation Institute

Email – Lance.

Phone- +1 707 217 8242

Featured Image Courtesy of Paul Nicklen