The European Union and twenty-four countries have agreed to create the world's largest marine park in the Antarctic Ocean. The proposed marine park will cover a huge expanse of the ocean measuring 1.55 million square km.
The marine park would be created in Antarctica's Ross Sea and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources said that the marine park would be protected from commercial fishing for at least 35 years. The Ross Sea is considered to be one of the world's most ecologically important oceans.
Reports state that the marine sanctuary will cover more than 12 percent of the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean harbours more than 100,000 species of the world including whales, colossal squids, penguins, seabirds and Antarctic tooth fish.
According to Reuters, fishing will be completely prohibited in 1.1 million square km of the Ross Sea, however, certain regions designated for research will allow fishing of sawfish and krill. The deal reached between the countries for the marine park is described as a historic milestone in global efforts to protect marine diversity by the researchers and scientists.
"The Ross Sea Region MPA will safeguard one of the last unspoiled ocean wilderness areas on the planet – home to unparalleled marine biodiversity and thriving communities of penguins, seals, whales, seabirds, and fish," United States Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.
Russia had blocked the conversation proposals for the marine park on five previous occasions before finally agreeing to the proposal. The 25-member commission which reached the proposal includes the United States, China, Russia and the European Union.
"They all have diverse economic, political interests and to get them all to align - especially in the context of there are divergent economic interests - is quite a challenge," director at the US Department of State and leader of the US delegation, Evan Blooms, was quoted as saying by Reuters.