12 Jan 2012

Call for Ross Sea to become marine reserve

4:09 pm on 12 January 2012

Renewed calls are being made for the Ross Sea to be protected after a third fishing vessel incident in the area in a little over a year.

A fire on board a South Korean fishing vessel Jeong Woo 2 in the Antarctic waters Wednesday is believed to have killed three crew members.

Less than a month earlier the Russian fishing ship, the Sparta, struck ice in the Ross Sea and was stranded while repairs were made to a hole in its side.

And in December 2010, the South Korean fishing boat No,1 In Sung sank with the loss of 22 lives.

The co-founder of the Last Ocean Charitable Trust, Peter Young, says the Ross Sea is a very dangerous place to fish and is also a very important conservation area.

He would like to see the Ross Sea declared a marine protected area.

The Jeong Woo 2 is still on fire on Thursday and there are plans for sister ship Jeong Woo 3 to tow it outside Antarctic waters to minimise any effect on the environment.