AWI Coordinates Preparations for Formation of Marine Protected Areas in Weddell Sea

The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research takes a leading role in preparing the formation of marine protected areas in the Weddell Sea.

Yesterday the German Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection published a press release, stating that the Bremerhavener institute is going to coordinate the scientific work, which will form the essential foundation for the protection of the Weddell Sea. The German delegation, operating under the guidance of the federal ministry, announced yesterday at the annual meeting of The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart, Australia, that they will undertake the preparations for the formation of marine protected areas in the Weddell Sea for the commission.

The Weddell Sea is home to marine animal communities and ecosystems that have adapted to the Antarctic living conditions over the last millions of years. The oceanographic processes in the Weddell Sea also function as the engine for global ocean currents, which are important for oceans worldwide and our climate”, the AWI director Prof. Dr. Karin Lochte explains the region’s ecological importance.

The AWI and the German Antarctic science community are therefore willing to gather the extensive results of the scientific research from the last 30 years, to analyse and reprocess these to the basis for an effective protection of the Weddell Sea. The region accommodates several biological treasuries, which it is essential to conserve; furthermore the region serves as an important reference area for basic scientific research. Hence we are very interested in that future research in this unique and widely pristine area is not endangered by destructive human activities”, says the director of the institute.

The Alfred Wegener Institute conducts intensive research in the Weddell Sea since its foundation in 1980.

Press Release, October 30, 2012

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