Protection of the Antarctic marine environment is a matter of concern to CCAMLR since the general health of the environment affects the species covered by the Convention.

As a consequence, the monitoring of marine debris and its impact on marine taxa is a permanent item on the Commission and SC-CAMLR agendas.

CCAMLR has adopted and implemented measures to monitor marine debris and to mitigate its impact in the Convention Area.

Members annually submit information on marine debris beach surveys, debris associated with seabird colonies, entanglements of marine mammals, and hydrocarbon soiling of mammals and seabirds. A set of standard forms and instructions have been developed for the collection and submission of these data.


At present CCAMLR Members continually monitor marine debris at several sites on the Antarctic Peninsula and other Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic islands. The Secretariat houses the CCAMLR Marine Debris Database which contains data from 13 sites.

CCAMLR has also instituted a number of initiatives to educate fishers and fishing vessel operators about pollution from marine debris and its impact on marine animals.


Since 1989 fishing and fisheries research vessels operating in CCAMLR waters have been required to display a marine debris placard which outlines procedures for the handling, storing and discarding of different types of refuse.

In order to highlight the dangers of marine debris CCAMLR has produced the poster “Overboard is not Forgotten”, showing the consequences to marine life, such as seal entanglement, when garbage is not disposed of appropriately. This poster, which is produced in seven different languages, is designed to be displayed on fishing boats to emphasise that correct disposal of garbage on vessels is essential to avoid impacts on Antarctic wildlife.

CCAMLR has a conservation measure in force that deals with general environmental protection during fishing (Conservation Measure 26-01). It prohibits the disposal of plastic packaging bands as well as the dumping of garbage, offal or oil, etc.