Open Access Repository

The Madrid Protocol and beyond: Strategies for marine conservation in the high seas and Southern Ocean


Downloads per month over past year

Harris, JW 2006 , 'The Madrid Protocol and beyond: Strategies for marine conservation in the high seas and Southern Ocean', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

PDF (Whole thesis excluding published material)
harris-whole-th...pdf | Download (8MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

[img] PDF (Whole thesis including published material)
harris-whole-th...pdf | Document not available for request/download
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


The establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on the high seas has recently
emerged on the international agenda as a critical issue requiring the integration of novel
approaches, international cooperation and political will. Since the high seas are subject
to open access, the rights and obligations of States on the high seas can be ambiguous
and confusing. There is a need to clarify how high seas marine conservation can be
implemented under international law and in the Antarctic, both within and beyond the
instruments of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). In recent years, Antarctic Treaty
Consultative Parties have pondered the application of alternative international
approaches and instruments in the region. This study seeks to contribute to this debate,
assessing the ATS and key international instruments and approaches regarding their
applicability to the high seas, comprehensiveness (assessed by species, in-situ or ex-situ
conservation measures), progressiveness (application of the ecosystem or precautionary
approach) and their legal status (soft or hard law, entry into force, Contracting Parties).
Site selection for Southern Ocean MPAs is hindered by a lack of data on marine
biodiversity. This study uses seabirds as surrogates for marine biodiversity. Drawing on
a 20-year database comprising over 140,000 'at sea' seabird sightings, this study assesses
the potential use of seabirds as surrogates for marine biodiversity in the Indian sector of
the Southern Ocean. Surrogate indices used were species density, richness, IUCN status
and Shannon-Weaver diversity. The seabird observations were aggregated into 1° (n =
1952), 2° (n = 704) and 5° bins (ri = 177). Surrogates were classified as high, medium or
low, with 'high' areas of greatest conservation value. The study identified 22 urgent
priority areas where conservation action appears justified, with clusters near Heard and
McDonald Islands, and Isles Crozet.
Integrating policy with science and considering area selection techniques provides an
objective contribution to Antarctic conservation planning. Antarctic marine
conservation is best managed within the ATS, with strong involvement from the
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The ATS
could, however be strengthened by applying the principles and approaches used by key
international instruments, particularly the Convention on Biological Diversity and the
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The use of seabirds as surrogates
has value in Antarctic conservation planning, but additional species or environmental
data would improve the process.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Harris, JW
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2006 the Author

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page