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Deal on Antarctic marine sanctuaries fails

Environmentalists say the Antarctic Ocean is home to more than 10,000 unique species, including penguins, whales, seals and colossal squidInternational efforts to create two vast marine sanctuaries to protect the pristine wilderness of Antarctica failed Friday for the fifth time, but delegates said China’s support for one reserve and Russia’s commitment to further talks gave them hope. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting closed Friday with no agreement on the two proposed areas, designed to protect species including whales and penguins. Officials said China had at the last minute indicated it would support one of these reserves in the Ross Sea, which is known as the “Last Ocean” because it is considered the only intact marine ecosystem left on Earth.

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