A historic deal has been reached to establish the world's largest marine sanctuary in the Antarctic Ocean. Paul Chapman reports.
It's taken a long time and a lot of negotiation but finally a deal's been reached to create the world's biggest marine park in the Antarctic Ocean. The deal hammered out by 24 nations and the European Union will cover more than 1.5 million square kilometres of the Ross Sea. All commercial fishing will be banned over an expanse of more than a million square kilometres. Some fishing for krill and sawfish will be allowed in areas designated as research zones. Scientists say the sanctuary will help provide a greater understanding of the impact of climate change. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. DELEGATION LEADER EVAN BLOOM SAYING: "We have had a reach achievement today. We have created the world's largest marine protected area and that's a major step forward for marine conservation globally so it's a wonderful moment." The sanctuary will cover more than 12 per cent of the Southern Ocean which is home to more than 10,000 animal species. They include most of the world's penguins, whales, seabirds, colossal squid and Antarctic tooth fish. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources which reached the deal requires unanimous agreement from all 25 members.