The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), a governing body of 25 member states and the European Union, missed an opportunity to establish a network of three marine protection areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean, according to conservation experts who attended the commission’s recent meeting. Each year, the CCAMLR meets in Hobart, Tasmania, to discuss matters related to the management and protection of the Southern Ocean and its rich marine life. Conservationists hoped that this year’s meeting would address a proposition to form three new MPAs in East Antarctica, the Antarctic Peninsula, and the Weddell Sea, and that CCAMLR members would reach a consensus to bring these plans into fruition. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission met online instead of in-person during the last week of October, which didn’t provide ample time for proper negotiations and discussions, according to attendees. By the meeting’s end, the MPA proposals had not been approved. Rodolfo Werner, a wildlife conservationist who attended the CCAMLR as an official observer and scientific representative of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), said this year’s meeting was “frustrating for several reasons.” Icebergs in the Southern Oceans near the South Orkney Islands. Image by Liam Quinn / Wikipedia Commons. “While it is positive that the meeting took place, albeit virtually, the meeting’s agenda was very limited, and important issues such as the impact of climate change were not addressed, nor were new marine protected areas (MPAs) established,” Werner told Mongabay in an…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer