World's Largest Marine Park : Environment for UPSC Exams
Delegates from 24 countries and the European Union have agreed that the Ross Sea in Antarctica will become the world's largest marine protected area (MPA).
Some 1.57m sq km (600,000 sq miles) of the Southern Ocean will gain protection from commercial fishing for 35 years.
The Ross Sea, its shelf and slope only comprise 2% of the Southern Ocean but they are home to 38% of the world's Adelie penguins, 30% of the world's Antarctic petrels and around 6% of the world's population of Antarctic minke whales.
The Ross Sea is also home to huge numbers of krill, a staple food for species including whales and seals.
There will be special zones where fishing from krill and toothfish will be allowed for research purposes.
This is the biggest protected area on the land or the sea, this is the first large scale MPA on the high seas.
The agreement came at the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
The agreement will take effect from December 2017 and, for most of the reserve, will last an initial 35 years.