Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
CCAMLR is an intergovernmental convention that came into force in 1982; it was established mainly in response to concerns that an increase in fishing of commercial species in the Southern Ocean could have a serious effect on population of other marine life. CCAMLR is now responsible for safeguarding the environment and protecting the integrity of the ecosystem of the ocean surrounding Antarctica. The Antarctic marine ecosystem is unique both for its geographic and climatic characteristics. Much of the Antarctic marine ecosystem is considered to be of low productivity and the associated food chain is very short, based almost entirely on krill. Krill are the key species crucial to the sustainability and production of all other fisheries. Krill fisheries in the Southern Ocean may have immense long‐term impacts on the marine ecosystem, disrupting the food web and blocking energy flows through the system. Currently two major finfish species are also exploited from Antarctic waters, the Patagonian toothfish and the Mackerel icefish. The convention is primarily focused on the conservation of living resources within the stated conservation area. Where insufficient data are available to assess sustainable harvesting levels or other conservation measures, a precautionary approach has been developed to account for the potential risks associated with incomplete knowledge about the dynamics of a particular resource. Fisheries in Antarctic water may only continue by maintaining the ecosystem in a relatively stable state. The challenge is to understand the processes through which the marine ecosystem functions to achieve a sustainable fishery in the Southern Ocean through science‐based management strategies.
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