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The Greening of AntarcticaAssembling an International Environment$
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Alessandro Antonello

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190907174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190907174.001.0001

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Seeing the Southern Ocean Ecosystem

Seeing the Southern Ocean Ecosystem

Enlarging the Antarctic Community

(p.109) 4 Seeing the Southern Ocean Ecosystem
The Greening of Antarctica

Alessandro Antonello

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates how the marine ecosystem came to be the central object of conservation in the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources of 1980. This was a novel move in international law, because the protection of an entire ecosystem had never before been enshrined in a treaty. In the 1960s the Soviet Union began to investigate the potential of krill and other fisheries in the Antarctic. This worried other treaty parties and environmentalists because over-exploitation of krill would have flow-on effects on its predators. While the Soviet Union, joined by Japan and others, was resolutely pro-exploitation, other nations, led by the United States and Britain, were more pro-conservation, particularly focusing on protecting the ecosystem as a whole. The eventual codification of ecosystem protection demonstrated the power of the pro-conservation states at that time.

Keywords:   Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, CCAMLR, ecosystem, ecology, Food and Agriculture Organization, BIOMASS program

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