Ross Sea: World’s Largest Marine Park

February 7, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. negotiation / nɪˌgoʊ ʃiˈeɪ ʃən / (n.) – a discussion where several people or groups try to reach an agreement
Example: After a long negotiation, the organizers finally decided on the concert’s venue.

2. commercial / kəˈmɜr ʃəl / (adj.) – related to earning money
Example: Some commercial establishments closed down because of low sales.

3. milestone / ˈmaɪlˌstoʊn / (n.) – an important development or event
Example: Graduating from college was an important milestone in her life.

4. critical / ˈkrɪt ɪ kəl / (adj.) – very important
Example: We need to think fast in critical situations like this.

5. push for (something) / pʊʃ fər / (idiom) – to ask or request for something consistently
Example: The petitioners pushed for the closing of the factory.


Read the text below.
The European Union, along with 24 countries, signed an agreement that will make the Ross Sea in the Antarctic Ocean the world’s largest marine park, or marine protected area.

The decision was finally made in October last year after five years of unsuccessful negotiations. Under the international agreement, 1.55 million square kilometers of the Ross Sea will be protected from commercial fishing for 35 years. Fishing will be banned completely in 1.1 million square kilometers of the Ross Sea, while the remaining areas would be designated as research zones. Scientists would be allowed to catch krill and toothfish in research zones, but only for the purpose of marine studies.

According to scientists, protecting the Ross Sea in the Antarctic is an important milestone in preserving marine diversity. This is because about three-fourths of the food that sustains marine life in all of the world’s oceans comes from the Antarctic Ocean.

Another reason why protecting the Ross Sea is critical is that it is home to several species of whales, seals, seabirds, and fish. In addition, it is one of the last bodies of water that has not been damaged by human activity. Without protection, the Ross Sea may be destroyed by overfishing and pollution.   

The petition to create the world’s largest network of marine protected areas in the Antarctic Ocean was launched by a campaign group called Avaaz. According to the group’s campaign director, people from all over the world are pushing for the protection of 30% of the world’s oceans. The petition was able to gain more than two million signatures.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that 35 years of protection is enough to preserve the Ross Sea? Why or why not?
·         What are the possible disadvantages of banning fishing in the Ross Sea and how can they be addressed?

Discussion B

·         In your country, what natural resources experience the most damage (e.g. forests, seas, mountains)?
·         What do you think would happen if these resources were not placed under protection? Discuss.

February 7, 2017