The meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has concluded in Hobart.

The 26 member Commission agreed to a number of important initiatives, and noted that 2019 had seen the third lowest seabird mortality rate on record as incidental bycatch from fishing, and the near-elimination of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the CCAMLR Area.

Australia had sought to have a million square kilometres of East Antarctica declared a Marine Protected Area (MPA) at the Conference to conserve the area’s distinctive deep-water reefs and feeding areas for marine mammals, with the Commission stopping short of declaring the MPA at this time.

Australian Antarctic Division scientist Dr Dirk Welsford was endorsed as Chair of the Scientific Committee, the most senior elected role in CCAMLR.