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Leonardo DiCaprio urges Antarctic Ocean sanctuary

SYDNEY--Leonardo DiCaprio urged a high-level Antarctic conservation meeting in Australia Tuesday to approve a sweeping Southern Ocean marine sanctuary to protect thousands of polar species.

The Hollywood star wrote an email to supporters of activist group Avaaz calling for a “people-powered surge” in favor of the sanctuary, which is headlining talks at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

The key theme of the 2012 CCAMLR summit, which officially opened in Hobart on Tuesday, is the establishment of a representative system of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean as proposed by Australia, France and the EU.

The region is home to big populations of penguins, seals and whales found nowhere else on Earth, and also has unique seafloor features that nurture early links in the food chain, according to environmental groups.

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