An attempt by Western nations, including Australia, to build support for big Antarctic marine reserves has been rebuffed by the fishing powers.
China and Japan are said to have shot down a show of support for the reserves concept at a closed Antarctic Treaty meeting in Brussels this week. Australia has joined France and the European Union in proposing 1.9 million square kilometres of waters off eastern Antarctica for a chain of marine reserves.
In the Ross Sea, the US and New Zealand want a 1.4 million square kilometre reserve.
The reserves would restrict some fishing rights, and China took a stand against them last year at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Other nations who objected then, including Russia, indicated that as well as future resource access, they were concerned about the need for designated marine reserves in an already tightly regulated commission system.
This has forced the commission to call only the second special meeting in its history – in Bremerhaven, Germany, in July – to tackle the marine reserves issue.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.