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Cetacean habitat directory for MPAs and sanctuaries

Marine region number 1 MPA number II

MPA Name (English) South Orkney Islands MPA
MPA Name (Local) South Orkney Islands MPA
Current Status Existing

Country INTERNATIONAL
Location • N Weddell Sea, E of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula
Size • 36,294 sq mi (94,000 sq km)

Cetacean name
(common)
• humpback whale, Antarctic minke whale, blue whale, fin whale, sei whale, Arnoux’s beaked whale, southern right whale, southern bottlenose whale, sperm whale, killer whale
Cetacean name
(scientific)
• Megaptera novaeangliae, Balaenoptera bonaerensis, Balaenoptera musculus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Berardius arnuxii, Eubalaena australis, Hyperoodon planifrons, Physeter macrocephalus, Orcinus orca
Other species • krill, seals, Adélie penguin; Weddell Front, submarine shelf areas and seamounts; high biodiversity

Rationale • MPA proposal supported by British Antarctic Survey research approved by Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Nov 2009. Equivalent to IUCN Category Ia, banning all fishing activities and discharge or refuse disposal. The British Antarctic Survey plans to monitor the effects of human activities and climate change in the Southern Ocean. This MPA includes part of the oceanographic feature known as the Weddell Front, which marks the N limit of waters characteristic of the Weddell Sea and the S limit of the Weddell Scotia Confluence. The Weddell Scotia Confluence is key habitat for Antarctic krill, one of the main species harvested in the Antarctic and a key focus for CCAMLR.
Management plan
Management plan web link

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