Environmental organization, Greenpeace, wants to create the largest wildlife reserve in the history of conservation. The potential wildlife reserve is said to cover 1.8 million sq km of the Antarctic seas, designed to protect the marine ecosystem from all forms of fishing.
“The Antarctic is home to an abundance of wildlife,” wrote the head of oceans for Greenpeace, on the organization’s blog. “And it’s not just important to animals- the health of our oceans sustains our planet, and provides billions of people with their livelihoods.”
According to Mr. McCallum, there needs to be an increased effort to protect the oceans and the animals living in them. By establishing a network of sanctuaries, Greenpeace hopes to tackle issues of overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change.
The European Union first proposed the Protect the Antarctic campaign, which entails the creation of the largest wildlife sanctuary in the world. It would essentially ban all fishing in the Weddell Sea and around the Antarctic Peninsula. This region is largely known for its large biodiversity, however, its reputation is outweighed by industrial krill fishing which has killed off large quantities of small crustaceans. These crustaceans serve as food for a number of larger animals in the area, including whales, seals, and penguins. Countries that dabble in the krill fishing industry include Norway, Russia, South Korea, and China.
McCallum said that the next few years are essential for the future of our oceans and urges the world’s governments to better preserve these ecosystems.
In addition to preserving the dwindling numbers of these marine animals, Greenpeace aims to curb climate crisis by allowing the seas to absorb carbon monoxide from the atmosphere.
The petition for the wildlife reserve is currently backed by more than 100 thousand people from around the world, with Greenpeace urging the UK to offer its support for the campaign.
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