Conservation of Antarctic marine living resources
To protect the ecological balance in the Antarctic Ocean by means of international regulations on the management and conservation of its marine resources.
Council Decision 81/691/EEC of 4 September 1981 on the conclusion of the Convention on the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources.
The International Convention on the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources was adopted at the diplomatic conference held in Canberra (Australia) on 20 May 1980. This decision approves the convention on behalf of the European Community.
There has been an increase in the importance of safeguarding the environment and protecting the integrity of the ecosystem of the seas surrounding Antarctica, due to the concentration of living resources found in Antarctic waters and the increased interest in the possibilities offered by the utilisation of these resources as a source of protein. It is therefore vital to ensure the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources.
The Convention applies to the marine living resources of the area south of 60° South latitude and to the marine living resources of the area between that latitude and the Antarctic convergence which form part of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.
In order to ensure the protection of marine living resources, any harvesting and associated activities must:
- prevent the decrease in the size of any harvested population to levels below those ensuring its stable recruitment. For this purpose its size shall not be allowed to fall below a level close to that which ensures the greatest net annual increment of the population;
- maintain the ecological relationships between harvested, dependent and related populations of Antarctic marine living resources and restore depleted populations to the levels defined above; and
- prevent changes or minimise the risk of changes in the marine ecosystem which are not potentially reversible over two or three decades, taking into account the state of available knowledge of the direct and indirect impact of harvesting, the effect of the introduction of alien species, the effects of associated activities on the marine ecosystem and the effects of environmental changes, with the aim of making possible the sustained conservation of Antarctic marine living resources.
The Contracting Parties, whether or not they are Parties to the Antarctic Treaty, agree that they will not engage in any activities in the Treaty area contrary to the principles and purposes of that Treaty.
This Convention shall not derogate from the rights and obligations of Contracting Parties under the International Convention for the regulation of whaling and the Convention for the conservation of Antarctic seals.
A Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources is established in a consultative capacity. This Committee may seek the advice of other scientists and experts as may be required on an ad hoc basis.
This Committee shall provide a forum for consultation and cooperation concerning the collection, study and exchange of information with respect to the marine living resources to which this Convention applies. It shall encourage and promote cooperation in the field of scientific research in order to extend knowledge of the marine living resources of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Decision 81/691/EEC||04.09.1981||-||OJ L 252 of 05.09.1981|