Designation of the Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area

Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 1, 2017

The Department of State welcomes today’s entry into force of the Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area, the world’s largest marine protected area (MPA). The Ross Sea in Antarctica is an area of unique biodiversity and one of the last unspoiled marine environments on the planet. This MPA will create special long-term opportunities for protecting marine life and for promoting marine scientific research.

The Ross Sea MPA was a joint initiative of the United States and New Zealand, and was adopted by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in October of 2016. It is 1.55 million square kilometers in size, about twice the size of the State of Texas.