Talks to create the world's two largest marine reserves in the Antarctic have broken down, with conservationists branding Russia a "repeat offender" for blocking an international agreement.
Delegates from 24 nations and the European Union have been locked in talks in Hobart for the past 10 days at the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
But the negotiations have ended in frustration for the nations, including Australia and the US, that proposed vast protected zones around Antarctica, with Russia, Ukraine and China refusing to back the plans...
"It's a bad day, not just for Antarctica but for the world's oceans, because so many fisheries are over-exploited and this was the one place we could create a reserve," she said. "The fact it can be blocked by a few nations with interests in fishing is very hard to take.
The failure of the talks is the third time in the past year that the proposals for protected zones have failed to find agreement among the commission's nations...More grim details at The Guardian.
The region is considered by scientists as vital to the health of the world's marine life. It is estimated that three-quarters of all aquatic life is sustained by the nutrient-rich waters of the Southern Ocean, which are transported by an enormous current into the northern hemisphere.