Weddell Sea Marine Protected Area (WSMPA)


The following information on the proposed Weddell Sea MPA was provided by Germany:

The proposal for establishing the Weddell Sea MPA was first submitted to the Scientific Committee and Commission in 2016. The proposal has since evolved to incorporate feedback from discussions between Members. The most recent proposal is divided in two phases: WSMPA Phase 1 and WSMPA Phase 2 (see tab "Geographical Area/Zone").

The model for the proposed WSMPA P1 includes three management zones designed to achieve the general and specific objectives of the WSMPA: the General Protection Zone (GPZ), the Special Protection Zone (SPZ), and the Fisheries Research Zone (FRZ). In addition, the FRZ includes a Scientific Reference Area (SRA). Each zone allows certain activities and restricts others. The WSMPA P1 aims to protect representative examples of pelagic and benthic ecosystems, biodiversity and habitats (including relevant ecosystem components such as key species and top predators), protect vulnerable marine ecosystems and unique, rare or biodiverse habitats and features. It is also designed to provide climate change refugia for cold-adapted organisms, and contribute to the science-based management of the toothfish stock through ongoing research.

Discussions regarding the WSMPA P2 and the overall proposal to establish a MPA in the Weddell Sea region are on-going.

An integrated compilation of data sources for the development of a marine protected area in the Weddell Sea

The Southern Ocean may contribute a considerable amount to the proposed global network of marine protected areas (MPAs) that should cover about 10% of the world’s oceans in 2020. In the Antarctic, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is responsible for this task, and currently Germany leads a corresponding scientific evaluation of the wider Weddell Sea region. Compared to other marine regions within the Southern Ocean, the Weddell Sea is exceptionally well investigated. A tremendous amount of data and information has been produced over the last 4 decades. Here, we give a systematic overview of all data sources collected in the context of the Weddell Sea MPA planning process. The compilation of data sources is comprised of data produced by scientists and institutions from more than 20 countries that were either available within our institutes, downloaded via data portals or transcribed from the literature. It is the first compilation for this area that includes abiotic data, such as bathymetry and sea ice, and ecological data from zooplankton, zoobenthos, fish, birds and marine mammals. All data layer products based on this huge compilation of environmental and ecological data are available from the data publisher PANGAEA via the six persistent identifiers at (Pehlke and Teschke, 2019), (Teschke et al., 2019a), (Teschke et al., 2019b), (Teschke et al., 2019c), (Pehlke et al., 2019a) and (Pehlke et al., 2019b). This compilation of data sources including the final data layer products will serve future research and monitoring well beyond the current MPA development process.

Supplement of: An integrated compilation of data sources for the development of a marine protected area in the Weddell Sea

Supplementary material to baseline data