Australia’s primary goal within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is to ensure the conservation of the marine living resources within the convention area.
The delegations of Australia and the United States of America to the 35th Meeting (2016) of CCAMLR presented a paper recalling the development of the Convention and articulating what "conservation" means for CCAMLR. This paper outlined the historical context, the original intent of the parties that negotiated the convention, and reiterated that CCAMLR is an organisation established with a broad conservation purview and function which also allows for fishing within its conservation framework. On the occasion of the 40th Meeting (2021) of CCAMLR, Australia and other CCAMLR Members agreed on a Joint Declaration, reaffirming their commitment to upholding the objective of the Convention.
Whales and seals are the subject of other conventions — namely, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals.
An important related goal is to enhance Australia’s influence in the Antarctic Treaty System, as this offers an opportunity to influence decisions about a region that is proximate to Australia, and to maintain Australia's reputation as a responsible manager of marine resources.
To this end, Australia’s long-term objectives in CCAMLR are:
- Support CCAMLR as an integral part of the Antarctic Treaty system (ATS)
- Promote conservation of marine living resources in the Southern Ocean,
- Maintain Australia’s fisheries interests and promote Australia as a responsible manager and sustainable harvester of Antarctic marine living resources, and
- Actively engage in CCAMLR’s core activities and support CCAMLR initiatives as appropriate.