You can't get much farther from Antarctica than Russia. Yet it was Russia that this week sunk American- and New Zealand-led efforts to create sprawling marine reserves around the South Pole.
The multi-nation Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources met in Germany this week to discuss proposals to protect more than 1.5 million square miles from the growing threat of fishing. The meeting was called after the countries that make up the committee failed to reach agreement on the proposals last year. From Nature:
There was widespread hope that new reserves in the Ross Sea and in East Antarctica would be approved this week ...
But [Tuesday] at the meeting the Russian delegation questioned the very authority of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which regulates fishing in Antarctica, to create reserves, several participants said. To establish any reserve requires the agreement of all 25 members.