The shore is the limit: marine spatial protection in Antarctica under Annex V of the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty

Ricardo M. Roura*, Frits Steenhuisen, Kees Bastmeijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper examines the role of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty in relation to marine spatial protection, with a focus on the designation of marine or partially marine areas as Antarctic Specially Protected or Managed Areas (ASPAs and ASMAs). For an improved understanding of this ASPA and ASMA practice, the competence arrangements between the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) are also examined. Five categories of ASPAs and ASMAs are identified according to their location and values relative to marine environments and ecosystems. A series of maps illustrate the outcomes of this inventory. The analysis and maps show that the use of ASPAs and ASMAs in marine or partially marine areas has been limited, although such protection is clearly within the mandate and competence of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties. In part to explain these outcomes, the paper examines some recent ATCM discussions on marine protection issues. It is concluded that stronger spatial marine protection through ASPAs and ASMAs, as well as a strengthened integrated protection of the marine environment, requires stronger collaboration between the ATCM and CCAMLR, as well as mutual respect between these bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-314
Number of pages26
JournalPolar Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3-Jul-2018


  • Antarctic environmental protocol
  • Antarctic Specially Managed Area
  • Antarctic Specially Protected Area
  • marine protected areas
  • marine spatial protection

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