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Cetacean habitat directory for MPAs and sanctuaries

Marine region number 1 MPA number 1

MPA Name (English) 1st Edition (only): Ross Sea MPA
2nd Edition: See 1.I
MPA Name (Local) 1st Edition (only): Ross Sea MPA
2nd Edition: See 1.I
Current Status Proposed

Country ANTARCTICA
Location • Ross Sea, off Antarctica: waters S of the 1640 fathom (10,000ft or 3000m) isobath, which extends from 69°S, 170°E to 76°S, 155°W; includes continental slope and shelf of the Ross Sea
Size • 1st Edition: 231,000 sq mi (598,000 sq km) includes continental slope 1640-10,000 ft (500-3000m) deep and the continental shelf of the Ross Sea
• 2nd Edition: 249,817 sq mi (647,194 sq km)

Cetacean name
(common)
• Antarctic minke whale, killer whale (including 3 ecotypes), Arnoux’s beaked whale, southern bottlenose whale, hourglass dolphin
Cetacean name
(scientific)
• Balaenoptera bonaerensis, Orcinus orca (including 3 ecotypes), Berardius arnuxii, Hyperoodon planifrons, Lagenorhynchus cruciger
Other species • crystal krill, Antarctic silverfish and toothfish; Adélie and emperor penguins; Antarctic petrels; Weddell, leopard and crabeater seals
• High primary productivity

Rationale 1st Edition
• To protect the largest virtually untouched marine ecosystem on Earth.
• In 2002, 2 proposals were made to the CCAMLR meetings to protect tiny areas of the Ross Sea: Terra Nova Bay and Cape Royds, both of which were approved.
• A huge multidisciplinary scientific effort has been invested in studies of the geology, physics and biology of the Ross Sea over the past 45 years. The successful result is an incredible wealth of knowledge, including long-term biological data sets unduplicated anywhere else in the Antarctic. Yet much remains unknown about how these ecosystems function.
• WDCS, among other groups, supports the highest level of protection for the Ross Sea, whether by an MPA or through ecosystem-based management or other methods. In 2002, support for the MPA idea came from the Pacific Seabird Group and the SCAR Subcommittee on Bird Biology as well as in talks at CCAMLR meetings.

2nd Edition
• Rationale is to protect a large Southern Ocean marine ecosystem as a natural outdoor laboratory for research into evolution, ecosystem processes and climate change.
• Since the 1960s, a multidisciplinary scientific effort has been invested in studies of the geology, physics and biology of the Ross Sea. The result includes long-term data sets unduplicated elsewhere in the Antarctic. Learning how these ecosystems function is the goal. WDCS, ASOC and the consortium of more than 100 Antarctic conservation groups support the highest level of protection for the Ross Sea. This area is also a Sylvia Earle ‘Hope Spot’ and part of WDCS’s 12 for 2012 and Beyond Initiative.
See Case Study 1
• Ross Sea is the richest stretch of water of comparable size in the entire Southern Ocean.
Management plan
Management plan web link

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