THE government is proposing a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Antarctica nine times the size of New Zealand.
New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the proposal will be submitted on Friday to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
The CCAMLR is part of the Antarctic Treaty System and manages marine resources in the area.
“If successful, this will be the largest MPA anywhere in the world – nine times the size of New Zealand,” Mr McCully said on Thursday.
It would protect ecologically important features and habitats, including winter ice-free areas, the entire coast from McMurdo Sound to Cape Adare and almost the entire Ross Sea continental shelf.
Mr McCully says the feasibility of a joint proposal with the United States was discussed, but each country will offer separate proposals to the CCAMLR.
To achieve a protected area, every CCAMLR member country must agree.