Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antarctic Treaty meeting moves to protect frozen continent from non-native species

29.06.2006
Important new measures to protect Antarctica – the world’s last great wilderness – from invasive non-native species have been agreed at a meeting of Antarctic experts in Edinburgh.

Scientists and policy makers at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, which finished at Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Friday 23 June, agreed new measures that will reduce the risk of non-native species being introduced into both marine and terrestrial ecosystems in Antarctica.

To protect the marine environment, the meeting adopted new practical guidelines for ballast water exchange by ships operating in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. Under the new guidelines drawn up by the UK, vessels will need to exchange any ballast water before arriving in Antarctic waters, and plan for and keep records of all ballast water operations.

According to Dr John Shears of British Antarctic Survey, “In the past, Antarctica was isolated with a very harsh and cold environment, which made it very difficult for non-native species to establish. However, more and more people are travelling to the continent, most of them on ships. Evidence from other parts of the world has shown that there is a direct link between numbers of people visiting a remote area and the numbers of non-native species that survive. Once established, they can be very difficult to eradicate. Prevention is better than cure.”

Concerned that a rapidly changing and warming climate on the Antarctic Peninsula could increase the risk of non-native species establishing themselves on the continent itself, the meeting also backed a series of recommendations made by New Zealand. These include development of a code of conduct for land-based activities - a set of minimum standards that all visitors, including tourists and scientists, would have to follow. Scientists called for more research into the issue. Dr Shears said that scientists need to identify which areas of Antarctica are most vulnerable and better understand the potential implications of climate change on the spread of non-native species.

Dr Shears says, “Antarctica’s remoteness and isolation offer science a unique opportunity to understand our world. Part of Antarctica’s value as a natural laboratory lies in the fact that its communities of animals and plants consist of only a few species living in simple relationships. This makes the Antarctic a perfect place to study how ecosystems work. The inadvertent introduction of non-native species into Antarctica could put this in jeopardy, and has the potential to change the continent’s biodiversity forever.”

Linda Capper | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bas.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>