The Antarctic Treaty System (The Year in Review 2014)
The key Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) events of 2014 were the two annual diplomatic meetings, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. These diplomatic meetings include the main sessions of the advisory bodies, the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) and the Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (SC-CAMLR), established under the relevant international instruments. Reports were received (as Working papers – WPs) from a number of mandated and informal intersessional contact groups operating through electronic means between the 36th and 37th ATCMs. No Meeting of Experts was held between the ATCMs. Following normal practice, three intersessional meetings of Working Groups of SC-CAMLR (Ecosystem Monitoring and Management; Statistics, Assessments and Modelling; and Fish Stock Assessment) and a meeting of the Subgroup on Acoustic Survey and Analysis Methods, were held during 2014. New Zealand was, as usual, an active participant across all the ATS current issues. Although the level of effort in relation to the Ross Sea MPA proposal (as measured by papers and meeting interventions) continued unabated in 2014, no substantive progress was made on MPA designation. Given the repeated failures within CCAMLR fora over the last several years to reach consensus on designation of any further MPAs, the prognoscis for success in the near-term remains bleak.