A joint New Zealand-US proposal to create the world's largest marine protected area in Antarctic waters has finally got across the line.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully confirmed this afternoon that member countries of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) had agreed to the sanctuary in the Ross Sea after talks in Hobart this week.
The marine protected area (MPA) will cover roughly 1.55m square kilometres, of which 1.12m sq km will be a no-take zone.
...which means the other 430,000 square kilometres will allow fishing. So how is it a "protected area" again?
Looking at MFAT's page on the deal, it seems fishing for toothfish - a highly sought-after commercial catch - will be permitted for "scientific research". Which smacks of Japan's "scientific whaling" bullshit. It would be nice if we could get an environmental deal which doesn't include this sort of bullshit commercial carveout...