"Sweeping Parts Of Southern Seas Could Become A Nature Preserve"

"The area of ocean set aside as a nature preserve could double or triple in the coming days, depending on the outcome of a meeting in Germany. Representatives from 24 countries and the European Union are considering setting aside large portions of ocean around Antarctica as a protected area. And the deal may hinge on preserving some fishing rights."

"There are two proposals on the table: One would set aside huge parts of the Southern Ocean around East Antarctica; the other would focus on the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand.

'The total size of the marine protected area we are proposing is roughly 3 1/2 times the size of Texas,' says Ambassador Mike Moore, the former prime minister of New Zealand, who was talking up the joint U.S.-New Zealand proposal in Washington this spring. 'So to misquote the vice president of the United States, "this is a big deal."'"

Richard Harris reports for NPR's Morning Edition July 12, 2013.

Source: NPR, 07/12/2013