The two countries tentatively agreed on the joint proposal at the 31st meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources in Hobart, Australia, a U.S. State Department release reported Thursday.
The Ross Sea is of tremendous conservation and scientific value and is a focal point for U.S. marine conservation efforts in Antarctica, the release said.
The joint plan was not finalized during the meeting, U.S. officials said, because opposition from a small number of members prevented the commission from reaching the consensus required to approve the Ross Sea proposals.
It was agreed, however, to convene a special meeting in Germany in July 2013 to consider and make decisions on the pending marine protected areas, officials said.
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