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Antarctic protection gets the green light

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016

A joint bid by New Zealand and the United States to create the world's largest marine protected area in the Antarctic has succeeded after four years of negotiation.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully on Friday hailed the breakthrough, saying the 25-nation Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources reached unanimous agreement at a meeting in Hobart.

The protected area is in the Ross Sea region of the Antarctic.

"It will cover roughly 1.55 million square kilometres, of which 1.12 million square kilometres will be a no fishing zone," Mr McCully said.

"New Zealand has played a leading role in reaching this agreement which will safeguard one of the world's remaining pristine natural environments."

The protected area comes into force on December 1 next year.

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