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Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

Constable A.J., William K., Agnew D.J., Everson I. and Miller D. (2000) "Managing fisheries to conserve the Antarctic marine ecosystem: practical implementation of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)", ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil, 57:3, 778-791.
Abstract: We aim to identify the important steps in the evolution of the ecosystem approach to management under the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The first section provides the background to CCAMLR, including the formulation of the convention and its objectives, its operation, and the historical trends in fisheries. Later sections describe (i) the reasons why a precautionary approach to setting catch limits evolved, (ii) how the precautionary approach takes account of ecosystem objectives and provides for the orderly development of new fisheries, and (iii) how the use of ecosystem indicators in the setting of catch limits and for monitoring the effects of fishing is being evaluated. The final section describes the general framework being used to develop a feedback-management system that incorporates objectives, target species assessments and ecosystem assessments. The CCAMLR experience provides two important lessons. First, conservation objectives can only be achieved by implementing management measures, even when very little is known. Second, methods were found for achieving scientific consensus despite the uncertainties surrounding estimates of parameters and the behaviour of the system. CCAMLR is yet to face the real test in its ecosystem approach, the development of the krill fishery. Before this occurs, appropriate management procedures have to be developed to avoid localized effects on the ecosystem and to provide effective feedbacks on the effects of fishing through its monitoring programme.  

Edwards D.M. and Heap J.A. (1981) "Convention on the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources: a commentary", Polar Record, 20:127, 353-362.

Abstract: The text of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which was adopted at the close of a diplomatic conference at Canberra on 21 May 1980, is reproduced elsewhere in this number of Polar Record (see p 383–95). The aim of this commentary is briefly to describe the purposes which the Convention was intended by its negotiators to fulfil, to indicate how those purposes are reflected in the text of the Convention, and to explain where the Convention will fit in the overall scheme of international Antarctic conservation agreements that have come into being over the last 50 years.

Frank R.F. (1983) "Convention on the conservation of antarctic marine living resources", Ocean Development & International Law, 13:3, 291-345. 
Abstract: The fauna‐rich Southern Ocean provides the background for a conflict of national interests of an economic, legal, political, scientific, and conservationist nature. In an attempt to resolve what may well prove to be a collection of insuperable conflicts, the nations overseeing the Antarctic region negotiated and signed the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources in 1980. This Convention purports to regulate national involvement in the Southern Ocean by managing the exploitation of all life in the nearly pristine Antarctic marine ecosystem. Krill and various species of fish have been harvested in the Southern Ocean for more than a decade, but at levels far below those that nearly led to the extinction of Antarctic whales and seals. The promise of this conservation Convention is to allow a stable level of harvesting of all species for the foreseeable future.
If ratified, the Convention would create a supervisory Conservation Commission and an advisory Scientific Committee to monitor the extent and impact of harvesting activities, to coordinate the collection of information, and to restrict the species, areas, and levels of exploitation, thus preserving the integrity of the ecosystem. However, in order to accommodate political and economic national interests, the language of the Convention opens several loopholes in the key areas of voting, data collection, and non‐party participation. Further, based as it is upon The Antarctic Treaty, the Convention seeks to perpetuate the strengths and weaknesses of the Treaty regime, particularly by maintaining the status quo regarding Antarctic territorial claims. Despite its flaws, the Convention seems to be a rational and timely compromise of competing national interests. It thus should serve as a model not only for the forthcoming Mineral Resources Convention, but also as a continuing symbol of the spirit of peaceful cooperation characterizing the Antarctic region.