Plans for Antarctic marine reserve falter again
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Plans for Antarctic marine reserve falter again

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A plan to protect a vast swathe of ocean off Antarctica’s coast by creating the world’s largest marine reserve appears headed for failure for a fourth time.

The countries that make decisions about Antarctic fishing will wrap up a 10-day meeting Friday in Hobart, Australia.

Most favor a joint U.S.-New Zealand proposal to ban most fishing in a sanctuary sprawling 1.34 million square kilometers (517,000 square miles), or twice the size of Texas, in the Ross Sea.

But all countries must reach consensus to pass the plan, which they have failed to do at three previous meetings.

U.S. delegation leader Evan Bloom said Thursday a consensus once again appeared unlikely.

Russia has been a past holdout. Political tensions between the U.S. and Russia likely added a hurdle this time.