The Ross Sea is home to penguins, seals, Antarctic toothfish, whales and huge numbers of krill, a staple food for many species.
And these animals all just got more protection.
After many years of diplomatic wrangling, concerned countries recently created the world’s largest marine reserve in Antarctica.
“This decision is very important not just for the Antarctic, but for efforts to promote world marine conservation,” said Evan Bloom, head of the U.S. delegation at the meeting in Hobart, Australia.
The pact for the protected area in the Ross Sea covers more than 1.55 million square kilometers, about the size of Britain, Germany and France combined. It includes a no-fishing zone of 1.12 million square kilometers.
Twenty-four countries and the European Union met in Hobart in October and agreed to the deal. It was the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
Voice of America contributed to this report.