A proposal to create one of the world’s largest marine reserves in a vast area of pristine Antarctic waters has been rejected, prompting concern among conservation groups about the ecosystem’s future. After two weeks of deliberations, Russia, China and Norway on Friday blocked the plan for a 1.8m square kilometres maritime protection zone in the Weddell Sea at a summit of the 25-member Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart, Australia. The proposed reserve, roughly five times the size of Germany, would have made the area in question a no-go zone for fishing and other commercial activities. Antarctica’s waters and landmass are home to penguins, seals, whales and huge numbers of krill, a staple food for many species, among other animals.
This post originally appeared on SOTT.net