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Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

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The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources is an Inter-governmental organization established by the convention on the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources. The Commission, aided by the Scientific Committee (established under the Convention), is responsible for developing measures playing a pivotal role in the conservation of the marine life of the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica.

The negotiation of the Convention was initiated by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties after reports of scientific studies expressed concern about unregulated fishing of Antarctic species would have an irreversible damage on the populations of other species in the Antarctic marine ecosystem. In 1977 at the 8th Meeting of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties, an agreement was sought to establish a wide-ranging conservation convention which would deal not only with the direct effects of harvesting specific organisms but also with the indirect effects of exploitation on other species.

This was followed by many diplomatic and scientific conferences and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources was drawn up at a special meeting on 20 May 1980 in Canberra, Australia, and signed by the following States: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, German Democratic Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Republic of South Africa, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America. By 8 March 1982, eight of the original signatory States, including two that were fishing in the Convention Area, had ratified the Convention, thus fulfilling the requirements of the Convention to enter into force. The Convention entered into force on 7 April 1982, and the Commission commenced operation in July 1982. The other seven original signatory States have subsequently ratified the Convention and become Members of the Commission. Since 1982, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, European Community, India, Italy, Republic of Korea, Namibia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and Uruguay have satisfied the conditions of the Convention to become Members of the Commission. In total there are now 25 Members of the Commission and 11 other States have acceded to the Convention but are not Members of the Commission, namely Bulgaria, Canada, Cook Islands, Finland, Greece, Mauritius, Netherlands, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Panama, Peru and Vanuatu.


The CAMLR Convention provides the foundation for marine resource conservation in the Southern Ocean. During its history of just over thirty years, CCAMLR has set global benchmarks for operationalizing an ecosystem approach to support the sustainable use of marine living resources. Achievements have been based on: recognized international best practice at-sea scientific observer program management decisions that take account of the impact on the ecosystem and the sustainability of fished resources rigorous scientific processes developed to support consideration of marine protected areas in the Convention Area a combination of surveillance, and market controls. Specific achievements include: addressing the challenge of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean reducing seabird mortality establishing the CCAMLR Ecosystem Monitoring Program (CEMP) managing Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs)


CCAMLR has set global benchmarks for operationalizing an ecosystem approach to support the sustainable use of marine living resources.


a. The emergence of Global Adaptive Governance for Stewardship of Regional Marine Resources

b. Relationship to the Antarctic Treaty System

c. Practical implementation of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

d. Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

e. Global Cooperation among Diverse Organizations

Research methodology

For conducting my research, I have used the second method of research. The methodology involved the summary, collation, and synthesis of existing research rather than the primary research which involves data collection from experiments. The non-empirical approach to research involved perusal of mostly published works like researching through archives of public libraries, research databases, published academic journals and e-books.

Lack of adequate governance of the high seas areas has resulted in the continued degradation of the ocean and marine habitats. The ecosystem approach, which comprises integrated, precautionary management policies, can be an important tool to reverse this situation. CCAMLR was a pioneer in the incorporation of an ecosystem approach to the conservation and management of marine living resources and continues to be a leader in its implementation. Through its actions at scientific, institutional and compliance levels, it has attempted to balance conservation objectives with the maintenance of commercial fisheries. CCAMLR has many achievements in this regard but needs to face new challenges posed by the expansion of fisheries, including illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, if it is not to abandon the core conservation principles embodied in the Antarctic Treaty. Other regional fishery bodies that have committed themselves to incorporate the ecosystem approach in their regimes can learn important lessons from CCAMLR’s successes and also from its difficulties. Incorporating the ecosystem approach is an ambitious goal, but one that can contribute significantly to ocean governance.

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Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 22, 2021, from
“Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
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