The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources announced an important environmental decision on October 28. The largest marine reserve was initiated off Antarctica, in the Ross Sea. The new protected area is almost six hundred thousand square miles large and it is the home of many marine species.
There was an international committee that decided to declare the Ross Sea a protected area. Officials from European countries and the United States expressed their opinion on protecting the marine life around the Antarctic shores.
Specialists explain that the Ross Sea is so large that it is commonly referred to as the “Last Ocean.” The region got its denomination also because it is remote and out of humans’ reach. As a result, the waters in Antarctica are not polluted, and the ecosystems are quite balanced and not affected by overfishing.
The largest marine reserve in the world harbors many animal species, such as penguins, seals, whales, and fish. Moreover, the populations are thriving, as they are not affected by human activities. Specialists estimate that there are about sixteen thousand animal species in the ecosystems of the Ross Sea.
The marine animals in Antarctica don’t deal with the survival struggles to which other aquatic creatures are exposed by human actions. There are no fishing gears to get entangled in, nor plastic items to get wrapped in or choked on. The populations are numerous, as they are not threatened by excessive hunting, fishing, nor exposed to collision with ships and boats.
The species which survive the cold temperatures in Antarctica have special adaptations to the region. Penguins and fish can bear waters so cold that would cause heart attacks on humans. Orcas and Minke whales are also happy here, where they have plenty of food and proper climate conditions.
The researchers involved in the project explain that the Ross Sea might be the biggest ecosystem left on Earth and the most healthy as well. Specialists are aware that the planet lost most of its wilderness mainly because of human activities.
The sizes of the recently created marine reserve in Antarctica make the sanctuary the largest such place on Earth. Before the call of the international committee, it was a Hawaiian reserve the one that held the world record for biggest animal refuge ever. The reserve in Hawaii measured 1.5 million square kilometers and was initiated by President Barack Obama at the end of the summer.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia