Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area (RSr MPA)

Established

The Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area (RSr MPA) was originally proposed in 2012, and agreed by CCAMLR in 2016 under CM 91-05, with the MPA coming into force on 1 December 2017. The RSrMPA is the world’s largest MPA covering 2.09 million square kilometres. The MPA is divided into three zones, the General Protection Zone (GPZ), the Special Research Zone (SRZ) and the Krill Research Zone (KRZ), each of which allows certain activities and restricts others. Fishing activities are prohibited within much of the MPA with a few exceptions, all of which must be conducted in accordance with other Conservation Measures set down by CCAMLR.

The MPA aims to protect large-scale ecosystem processes, conserve biodiversity, protect predators and prey (including penguins, seals, whales, krill and Antarctic silverfish), protect areas of ecological importance, protect areas that are important to the life cycle of Antarctic toothfish, and promote research and other scientific activities (such as monitoring) on the marine living resources in the region. The RSrMPA remains in force until the end of its review period in 2052, at which time it may be renewed or modified as needed.

The specific objectives for the research and monitoring plan associated with the RSrMPA fall into three main categories:

(i) representativeness - research and monitoring to assess whether the RSrMPA is protecting an adequate proportion of all benthic and pelagic environments in the Ross Sea region

(ii) threat mitigation - research and monitoring to assess the extent to which threats to the achievement of Article II.3 and the specific objectives of the RSrMPA are being effectively avoided or mitigated by the MPA, in locations where the risk of ecosystem impacts from harvesting activities may otherwise be high

(iii) scientific reference areas - research and monitoring where the RSrMPA provides opportunities to examine Antarctic marine ecosystems where no, or limited, fishing has taken, or is taking, place, to understand, for example, the effects of fishing, environmental variability and climate change on Antarctic marine living resources.

RSRMPA Baseline Data (V1)

Baseline data layers used for spatial planning, monitoring and research in relation to the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area - Refer to WS-SM-18/01

Data and Resources
Filename
Description
Data layers used to define the key Ross Sea region ecosystem processes used in the Ross Sea region design, and identified in the Ross Sea region MPA research and monitoring plan
Data layers used to define the Ross Sea region pelagic and benthic bioregionalisations
The Ross Sea region pelagic and benthic bioregionalisations (Sharp et al., 2010). These layers are submitted as Arc-GIS vector shapefiles.
Additional data layers deemed potentially useful for defining the Ross Sea region environment and ecosystem baseline. These layers are submitted as spatially-referenced netCDF raster files.
A catalogue of the data layers relevant to establishing the baseline for the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area (MPA). Data used to investigate environmental and ecological spatial patterns as part of the design and evaluation process for the Ross Sea region MPA, including spatial maps and information on key Ross Sea ecosystem processes, and data layers used to determine the pelagic and benthic bioregionalisations. Also included, the data layers which are considered likely to be useful in contributing to defining the “baseline” state of the Ross Sea region
RSRMPA Baseline Data (V2)

Updated baseline data layers used for spatial planning, monitoring and research in relation to the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area - Refer to SC-CAMLR-XXXVII/11 and SC-CAMLR-XXXVII/BG/13

Data and Resources
Filename
Description
Top level folder of resources (readme, metadata and summary data)
Unzip this zip archive below 1 - the readme metadata folder
Unzip this zip archive below 1 - the readme metadata folder
Unzip this zip archive below 1 - the readme metadata folder