Published on: October 1, 2021



What : An MPA is a  protected area that provides protection for all or part of its natural resources. Certain activities within an MPA are limited or prohibited to meet specific conservation, habitat protection, ecosystem monitoring, or fisheries management objectives.

What is in news : India has extended support for protecting the Antarctic environment and for co-sponsoring the proposal of the European Union for designating East Antarctica and the Weddell Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at a high-level ministerial meeting

Who has designated :

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources


  • International treaty
  • Manage Antarctic fisheries to preserve species diversity and stability of the entire Antarctic marine ecosystem.
  • Came into force in April 1982.
  • India has been a permanent member since 1986.
  • Coordinated in India by the Ministry of Earth Sciences through its attached office, the Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE) in Kochi, Kerala.

NOTE: Since 2009, CCAMLR members have developed proposals for MPAs for various regions of the Southern Ocean. CCAMLR’s scientific committee examines these proposals. After CCAMLR members agree upon them, elaborate conservation measures are set out by CCAMLR.

About Weddell Sea

  • Part of the Southern Ocean and contains the Weddell Gyre.
  • Land boundaries are defined by the bay formed from the coasts of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Much of the southern part of the sea is covered by a permanent, massive ice shelf field, the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.
  • Contained within the two overlapping Antarctic territorial claims of Argentine Antarctica, the British Antarctic Territory, and also resides partially within the Antarctic Chilean Territory.

About Antarctica

  • Southernmost continent and lies entirely within the Antarctic Circle spread around the South Pole.
  • Fifth-largest continent
  • There is no coastal plain.
  • There are mountain ranges, peaks, a rift valley, and volcanoes.
  • Two broad inlets, the Weddell Sea and the Ross Sea and the Trans-
  • Antarctic Mountains that cross the entire continent divide the land into West Antarctica and East Antarctica.
  • The former faces the Pacific Ocean. The Antarctic Peninsula points towards South America. It is the continuation of the Andes Mountain range.
  • Mount Erebus, an active volcano, is actually of the Ross Sea.
  • Only continent that is completely covered by permanent ice and snow hence it is known as the white continent.
  • In some places, its ice cap is 4,000 meters deep.
  • The valleys between the mountain ranges are dry, windy, frozen and barren and strangely called oases.